CNNC, the Chinese state-backed nuclear giant, is in talks to take a big stake in Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in return for investment that could amount to billions of pounds.
Both CNNC and CGN, another Chinese energy company, were involved in initial negotiations with EDF, the French firm building the £18bn nuclear power station in Somerset. But only CGN signed an investment agreement last October during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UK, prompting uncertainty about CNNC’s participation in the project.
However, Xie Jiajie, a senior official at CNNC, told the Telegraph that his company would be taking an equity stake in Hinkley Point once EDF has made its final investment decision on the project.
“We decided it would not be good for two large Chinese companies to hold strategic discussions with EDF,” said Mr Xie. “That is why we asked CGN to hold discussions on behalf of CNNC.
“The final proposal is for the Chinese to take a 33.5pc stake in the project. But this will be a combination of CGN and CNNC. We haven’t yet decided what percentage we are going to invest. The FID [final investment decision] has not been announced. We have to wait to see the final agreements.”