(Yicai Global) Aug. 2 -- China hopes the British government can reach a decision on a proposed GBP18 billion nuclear power project in the UK as soon as possible after the new government of Prime Minister Theresa May said it will review the scheme and give a final verdict this fall.
China is looking for an early decision from the UK government to ensure the Sino-French project's smooth implementation, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Ms. Hua Chunying said in Beijing yesterday.
The British government unexpectedly postponed giving the green light to the Hinkley Point C power station just 11 hours before a final agreement was to be signed on July 29. China plans to invest GBP6 billion in the project and use it as a showcase for its nuclear power generation capabilities in developed markets.
Analysts point out that Ms. May and her key advisors are concerned about the security implications of China's involvement. The delay could also be a tactic to pressure France during the UK's future Brexit negotiations. Moreover, in the UK there has been a huge question mark hanging over any economic returns from the project.
Last year, China General Nuclear Power Corporation and France's public electricity provider EDF signed an agreement to build the nuclear power station. Hinkley Point C would produce 7 percent of the UK's electricity, replacing the country's coal-fired plants in 2025, creating 25,000 jobs and powering 6 million British homes. Plans call for construction work to start next year.