The Chinese government is in early-stage talks to buy a big minority stake in Britain’s fleet of nuclear power stations, The Sunday Times can reveal. China General Nuclear (CGN), the country’s state-run nuclear giant, is understood to have made an approach about acquiring a share of up to 49% in the eight power stations, which generate a fifth of the nation’s electricity. The stake, worth up to £4bn, is being sold by Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, and the French giant EDF. The move highlights China’s ambitions to become a global player in nuclear energy. It will present a huge challenge for Theresa May. The prime minister is deeply wary of granting the Chinese greater access to critical infrastructure and has initiated a new national security test on foreign takeovers. Centrica’s boss, Iain Conn, wants to sell its share by the end of 2020 under plans to focus on providing services and power to households and businesses. Cash-strapped EDF is considering cutting its 80% stake to 51%. It has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch as an adviser.
Times 8th July 2018 read more »