Significant Chinese investment in the Hinkley Point new nuclear plant moved a step closer to reality last night.
The UK and China governments signed an agreement that allows companies from the Far East country to own and operate a nuclear power station here.
It is understood that fuel company China National Nuclear Corporation could now put money into Hinkley Point C in Somerset. EDF Energy last monthstepped up preperation work on the site of the proposed new nuclear plant.
Writing in the Guardian, energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said: “Given the boost to low-carbon electricity, to energy security and to jobs, the Chinese interest in taking forward investment at Hinkley Point C – the UK’s first nuclear station in a generation – is hugely welcome.”
An energy price deal was struck with the government for Hinkley Point last year, but EDF said a final decision on building the plant would depend on EU state aid approval.
A Bouygues/Laing O’Rourke joint venture has been named preferred delivery partner for the main construction contract on the plant.