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China interested in UK nuclear project

By Cecily Liu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-09-19 11:10

China General Nuclear Power Corporation, known as CGN, said on Monday it will bid to invest in a financially troubled 15 billion pound($20.35 billion) nuclear power station planned for Cumbria, in Northwest England.

Known as Moorside, the power station is projected to generate 3.8 gigawatts of power, which is enough to power up to 6 million homes in the United Kingdom.

Huang Xiaofei, a spokesman for CGN, said the company will bid to make an equity investment in NuGeneration, the company behind Moorside.

"We are willing to utilize our more than 30 years of experience in nuclear design, construction and operation to support the UK's nuclear industry development," Huang said.

NuGeneration, which is more commonly known as NuGen, was a 60-40 percent joint venture between Japan's Toshiba and France's Engie. Earlier this year, Engie quit the consortium by selling its 40 percent stake to Toshiba for $139 million, after witnessing Toshiba's nuclear arm Westinghouse file for bankruptcy.

Engie's quitting of the consortium triggered Toshiba to contemplate selling NuGen.

Several bidders have expressed an interest in buying into the ownership of NuGen, including South Korea's Kepco.

CGN has already made significant investment into the UK's nuclear sector. It is a minority stake investor in Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, a project that is being led by France's EDF.

Earlier this year CGN also put the Chinese indigenous Hua-long Pressurized Reactor 1000 nuclear technology, also known as HPR1000, before the UK's nuclear regulator for review. If HPR1000 passes the UK's very strict assessment process, Generic Design Assessment, CGN plans to use the technology for the construction of the UK's Bradwell B nuclear power station.

NuGen previously received the UK government's approval to use AP1000 nuclear technology for the construction of the Moorside power plant. However, after the bankruptcy of Westinghouse, the Office for Nuclear Regulation-the UK's nuclear watchdog-put the project under review. The construction timeline for Moorside has not yet been announced.

Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy after incurring some $9 billion of losses, mainly from the construction of four AP1000 reactors in the United States.

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