UK looks to remove China's CGN from nuclear power projects - FT

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - Britain is exploring ways to remove China's state-owned nuclear energy company China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) from all future power projects in the UK, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the plans.

The change in Britain's stance could affect the Sizewell C nuclear energy project in Suffolk, eastern England, that France's EDF (EDF.PA) is scheduled to build with backing from CGN, and proposals for a new plant on the east coast at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex, the newspaper said.

A spokesperson for China's foreign ministry, Zhao Lijian, said on Monday that "The British should earnestly provide an open, fair and non discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies."

China and Britain are important trade and investment partners for each other, he added.

"It is in the interests of both sides to conduct practical cooperation in the spirit of mutual benefit and a win-win result." Zhao said.

Britain has already announced plans to remove kit made by China's Huawei from its 5G telecoms network by the end of 2027.

Britain's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) declined direct comment on the FT report.

"Nuclear power has an important role to play in the UK's low-carbon energy future, as we work towards our world-leading target to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050," a BEIS spokesperson said.

"All nuclear projects in the UK are conducted under robust and independent regulation to meet the UK's rigorous legal, regulatory and national security requirements, ensuring our interests are protected," the spokesperson added.

EDF declined to comment, while CGN had not responded to a request for comment.

The French company last month called on the British government to deliver the legislation that would underpin the financing of Sizewell C, saying it was now essential. read more

Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru and Cate Cadell in Beijing, Elizabeth Piper in London and Christian Lowe in Paris; Writing by Shivani Singh and Keith Weir; editing by Jonathan Oatis, Louise Heavens and David Evans

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