CNNC, the Chinese state-backed nuclear giant, is in talks to take a big stake in Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in return for investment that could amount to billions of pounds. Both CNNC and CGN, another Chinese energy company, were involved in initial negotiations with EDF, the French firm building the £18bn nuclear power station in Somerset. But only CGN signed an investment agreement last October during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UK, prompting uncertainty about CNNC’s participation in the project. However, Xie Jiajie, a senior official at CNNC, told the Telegraph that his company would be taking an equity stake in Hinkley Point once EDF has made its final investment decision on the project. “We decided it would not be good for two large Chinese companies to hold strategic discussions with EDF,” said Mr Xie. “That is why we asked CGN to hold discussions on behalf of CNNC. “The final proposal is for the Chinese to take a 33.5pc stake in the project. But this will be a combination of CGN and CNNC. We haven’t yet decided what percentage we are going to invest. The FID [final investment decision] has not been announced. We have to wait to see the final agreements.” The revelation is unlikely to placate critics of Chinese investment in the UK’s vital energy infrastructure. Of the two companies involved, CGN, which is based in Shenzhen, is considered less contentious. CNNC operates under the control of the Beijing government and has close ties to the Chinese military. On its website, the company states it “successfully developed the atomic bomb, hydrogen bomb and nuclear submarines”. In October, it was reported that GCHQ, Britain’s surveillance agency, was seeking special access to the Chinese companies involved in any nuclear project in the UK in order to allay security concerns.
Telegraph 7th May 2016 read more »
A Chinese state-backed nuclear energy firm is considering taking a stake in the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, one of its officials has said. The Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), along with another Chinese company CGN, had previously been in talks with EDF over investing in the scheme, but only CGN signed a deal. Now a CNNC official has told The Sunday Telegraph that CNNC’s involvement is also in the offing and CGN had held talks on their behalf. Xie Jiajie said: “The final proposal is for the Chinese to take a 33.5% stake in the project. “But this will be a combination of CGN and CNNC. “We haven’t decided what percentage we are going to invest.”
Belfast Telegraph 8th May 2016 read more »
The former finance officer at French energy firm EDF tried to delay the building of the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. Thomas Piquemal resigned from the firm over his concerns about the financial viability of the power station in Somerset. And it has now emerged that before he parted company with the firm he urged the board to delay a financial investment in Hinkley Point for at least three years. Thomas Piquemal’s resignation in March called into question the future of the project which is expected to create thousands of jobs and bring billions into the economy in the West.
Western Daily Press 7th May 2016 read more »
Environment charity Greenpeace claims the new Hinkley power station will be the most expensive object on Earth. The cost of the power station has been put at £18billion by energy company EDF which is building it. But Greenpeace has claimed that the French firm’s estimate is too low and says it will cost up to £24billion. Greenpeace has launched a petition against the power station going ahead.
Western Daily Press 6th May 2016 read more »
One of EDF Energy’s subsidiaries has scooped an honour for its hard work. NNB GenCo won a Gold Award at the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s 2016 National Site Awards for the project in preparing for the new Hinkley Point C power station.
This is the West Country 6th May 2016 read more »
Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, Implementation Committee 15th – 17th March 2016. Findings and recommendations further to a Committee initiative concerning the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. On 12 and 22 March 2013, a member of the German Parliament provided information to the Implementation Committee under the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) and its Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment, regarding the planned construction of a nuclear power plant (NPP) in Hinkley Point C (HPC) by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the information provided, the member of the German Parliament alleged noncompliance by the United Kingdom with its obligations under the Convention with respect to the proposed activity noting that Germany had not been notified and the German public had not been consulted on the activity. On 27 March 2013 the Irish non-governmental organization (NGO) Friends of the Irish Environment also provided information to the Implementation Committee regarding the same proposed activity and alleging noncompliance by the United Kingdom with its obligations under the Convention with respect to the proposed activity noting that Ireland had not been notified and the Irish public had not been consulted on the activity. The Committee notes that the activity at HPC is a proposed activity listed in Appendix I, item 2, and finds that the characteristics of the activity and its location warrant the conclusion that a significant adverse transboundary impact cannot be excluded in case of a major accident, accident beyond the design-base or disaster. The Committee also finds that, as a consequence of its conclusion concerning the likely significant adverse transboundary environmental impact, the United Kingdom is in non-compliance with its obligations under article 2, paragraph 4, and article 3, paragraph 1 of the Convention.
UN Economic & Social Council (accessed) 8th May 2016 read more »
Large energy companies have historically produced energy, paid to distribute it through the national grid, and sold it on to British homes. In this vertically integrated model, suppliers can boost growth in one way: win more customers to ensure more energy consumed. But the landscape has changed: challenger brands continue to eat into market share and energy efficiency erodes customer use. For the big six, a step-change is inevitable. Mr Ward argues that horizontal growth will become key; either by offering extra services related to the core product or offering a range of different product options.
Telegraph 7th May 2016 read more »
North Korea will not use nuclear weapons against other nations unless its sovereignty is threatened, and will work toward non-proliferation and global stability, leader Kim Jong-un has said, according to state media.
Guardian 8th May 2016 read more »
Telegraph 8th May 2016 read more »
Satellite images show North Korea is planning new nuclear test, think tank says.
Express 7th May 2016 read more »
Daily Mail 7th May 2016 read more »
Fracking could take place in Britain this year for the first time since 2011, under plans that could get the green light from council officials this week. Gas company Third Energy is seeking planning permission to frack a shale gas well it has drilled at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. If the company gets the go-ahead, gas from the site could be powering homes in Yorkshire before the end of this year, Rasik Valand, its chief executive, told the Telegraph. After months of consultation, North Yorkshire County Council’s planning officer is this week expected to issue her recommendation on whether councillors should approve or reject the plans. A recommendation of approval would take Britain to the verge of finally kicking off a shale gas industry that has been plagued by setbacks and delays desp ite the enthusiastic support of Government. However, councillors could yet defy the officer’s recommendation on the application, which has proved highly contentious.
Telegraph 7th May 2016 read more »
THE petrochemical company, Ineos, is hiring new managers and scientists in London with the “immediate intention” of pushing ahead with fracking central Scotland, the Sunday Herald can reveal. The £28 billion multinational, which runs plants at Grangemouth, is advertising for a new director, a land manager and geologists to exploit licences granted by the UK government to frack for underground shale gas across hundreds of square kilometres around Falkirk and Stirling. The company is proceeding despite a Scottish Government moratorium and widespread opposition to fracking from communities and political parties. Its move has prompted furious responses from environmentalists and campaigners. Mark Ruskell, environment spokesman for the Scottish Greens and the newly-elected MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, acc used Ineos of jumping the gun. “Scottish communities have made clear their opposition to this dangerous and unnecessary technology and will be angered to hear that this company is gearing up for drilling,” he said. “It shows the need for the SNP to come down clearly on the side of communities and turn the moratorium into a permanent ban. The new group of Green MSPs will continue to lead the political fight against fracking and we will increase the pressure on ministers to stop Ineos in their tracks.”
Sunday Herald 8th May 2016 read more »