BEIJING (Reuters) - China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) on Saturday said it has no plans to build reactors at the Hinkley Point C site in Britain, denying reports it would be willing to take over from EDF (EDF.PA) should the French firm pull out.
EDF has delayed its investment decision on the construction of two “third-generation” European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) at Hinkley Point until September, amid escalating costs and financial problems brought about in part by delays to similar projects in France and Finland.
Lord Howell, a member of the House of Lords, Britain’s upper house of parliament, said on Thursday that China had a “Plan B” to build two small reactors at Hinkley Point were EDF forced to withdraw.
But the state-owned CGNPC, which signed a deal with EDF last October to take a 33.5 percent stake in the Hinkley Point C project, denied the claims, saying “there is no foundation to the story”.
“China General Nuclear Power Corporation has no plans to build nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C,” it said in an emailed statement. “Our intention is to obtain regulatory approval to build our reactor design at Bradwell in Essex.”
CGNPC, the parent of Hong Kong-listed CGN Power (1816.HK), aims to win approval for its own-brand third-generation reactor known as Hualong One from British regulators, and it said on Saturday that EDF was supporting its efforts.
China is currently building two EPRs, designed by France’s Areva AREVA.PA, at the Taishan site in the southeast province of Guangdong.
CGN Power said earlier this year that the launch of the first unit had been postponed from the first half of 2016 to the first half of next year, but it claimed its progress with the technology had been faster than anywhere else in the world.
Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Stephen Coates