Osborne unveils £2bn Chinese nuclear power deal to strengthen ‘golden relationship’
It’s hoped the cash will prompt final investment from French energy company EDF to get the delayed Hinkley Point C project off the ground.
Mr Osborne today said the stations are essential part of powering the country, and boasted that the deal paves the way for a wave of Chinese investment into British infrastructure and business.
The Chancellor is currently in China as part of a five-day tour aimed at strengthening a “golden relationship” of business and trade relations between the two countries.
He wants China to help fund further nuclear power stations, as well as Tory business initiatives including the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ project.
However, EDF threw water over the Chancellor’s announcement and said that Chinese cash does not put Hinkley Point back on track.
The energy company is still deciding whether to invest in the £24.5bn station would be the first nuclear power generator built in Britain in 20 years.
It was supposed to be in operation by 2023, but earlier this year EDF announced thee project would be delayed.
During the next ten years, Britain is expected to need to replace around quarter of its energy capacity due to ageing nuclear and coal power plants retiring.
Mr Osborne said the Hinkley Point plant is expected to produce enough energy to supply seven per cent of the country’s needs, powering around six million homes.