Chinese investor confirms Hinkley Point support

Chinese investors have confirmed details of their support for EDF Energy’s proposed new nuclear power stations.

HPC

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) will invest £6 billion for a 33.5 per cent stake in the Hinkley Point C project.

EDF retains the remaining 66.5 per cent of the project. The French group said it intends to bring other investors into the project, but will retain a majority stake.

The strategic investment agreement was signed in the presence of Chinese president Xi Jinping and UK prime minister David Cameron.

Andrew Storer, managing director of the Nuclear AMRC, commented: “This is great news for the nuclear industry. We need Hinkley Point to move forwards to help kickstart the UK’s new build programme across a range of potential developers and technologies. This announcement is a really important step in the process of launching the Hinkley Point project, and a fantastic achievement for the EDF team.

“The new build programme will create a great stimulus and help secure skills and capability across our industry, not just in new build.

“It’s been a long time coming, but the supply chain has been using the time to get ready for Hinkley Point and the other potential projects. We now need to see a final investment decision that enables further contracts to be placed, and the work we’ve been doing with the supply chain to be put into action.”

The Nuclear AMRC works with UK manufacturers along the supply chain to help them become more competitive, including focused supplier development support through the Fit For Nuclear and Civil Nuclear Sharing in Growth programmes. Over 60 per cent of the Hinkley Point project value will be spent in the UK, EDF says.

EDF proposes to build two Areva EPRs at Hinkley Point, with the first planned to be operational in 2025. EDF chairman Jean-Bernard Lévy said the group was “planning for a final investment decision within weeks”.

The strategic investment agreement also paves the way for CGN to take a 20 per cent stake of EDF’s proposed development of two EPRs at Sizewell, and 66.5 per cent of a new collaborative project to develop two Chinese HPR1000 Hualong reactors at Bradwell, Essex.

EDF and CGN have worked together for around 30 years, and are currently collaborating on two EPRs at Taishan, China.