Landmark Chinese commitment puts Hinkley Point within reach

chinese_flagChina is set to announce a landmark investment in Hinkley Point C today, the UK’s first new nuclear reactor in a generation.

The plant could be opened by 2025 at Hinkley Point, in Somerset, with China likely to cover about 30% of the cost.

Today’s announcement, the commercial centrepiece of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK, is a huge step in the right direction for what is set to be the largest infrastructure investment in Europe.

More than £30bn worth of deals between the UK and China are expected to be struck during the four-day visit.

This new commitment to Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset follows months of negotiations with French energy group EDF, which will lead the project and fund the rest of the construction bill.

Commenting on the announcement, Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, said:

“Ever since Chinese President Xi Jinping set foot in Britain, businesses have been on the edge of their seat expecting a commitment to Hinkley Point C. Today, our Chinese partners delivered, investing billions of pounds in the South West which will turn into 25,000 jobs during the lifespan of the project.

“The South West is set to become a nuclear hub and this landmark deal will kick-start a flurry of activity in this sector which is set to be worth £50 billion to our region over the next two decades. Firms in the South West are already planning to grasp these opportunities after we launched our Nuclear South West Initiative last month, and this announcement will be met by a rousing applause from the business community.

“Whilst the final investment decision has not been officially made, this announcement brings this game changing piece of infrastructure a step closer to reality. The hailed ‘golden generation’ for British-Chinese relations has just delivered a gem for the South West.”

Kamal Ahmed, BBC business editor, said: “In brute pounds and pence, it will be the largest inward investment ever in the UK.

“Such is the significance of the agreement, it will be left to the leaders of Britain and China to announce the partnership.”

Hinkley Point is expected to create 25,000 jobs and enough energy to power six million homes.

Source: BBC

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