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EDF chief believes Chinese firms will take 40% stake in Hinkley nuclear project

By Chris Peterson (China Daily Europe) Updated: 2015-10-02 19:42

EDF chief believes Chinese firms will take 40% stake in Hinkley nuclear project

Hinkley Point A and B nuclear power stations are seen behind the site where Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will be constructed in Bridgwater in south west Britain, in this file photograph dated October 24, 2013.[Photo/Agencies]

EDF Energy Chief Vincent de Rivaz says he believes two state-backed Chinese investors will increase the size of their stake in the Hinkley Point nuclear power station project, allowing it to go ahead after delays over funding.

De Rivaz told the UK's Financial Times in an interview that EDF, whose reactor will be used at the power station in the southwest county of Somerset, has increased its share to 60 percent, and he was confident China General Nuclear Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation would increase their joint stake to 40 percent to allow the 24.5 billion pound project to go ahead.

His remarks followed months of negotiations after France's Areva pulled back from taking a 15 percent stake because of financial difficulties.

Last month George Osborne, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, said the government would underwrite 2 billion of the initial investment, and industry sources said more guarantees would be forthcoming.

"I believe agreement can be reached," de Rivaz told the Financial Times.

He said President Xi Jinping's state visit to Britain in the latter part of this month would be "a timely opportunity" to seal the deal.

EDF also plans to partner the Chinese companies for new plants in Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex, this time using Chinese-designed nuclear reactors.

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