Author: April Ma

Posted: Caixin Global, December 14th, 2016

Chinese energy company Wintime Energy Co. Ltd. plans to invest 400 million pounds ($507 million) in Hinckley Point C, which will be the world’s largest nuclear plant.

The investment will grant Wintime a 10% stake in Chinese consortium Definite Arise Ltd. and make Wintime the first private Chinese investor in the British project.

Wintime announced on the Shenzhen bourse Tuesday that Definite Arise is preparing to invest up to 7.95 billion pounds in the power station in southwestern England. Definite Arise originally agreed to fund a third of the 18-billion-pound project with approximately 6 billion pounds before financing costs, the single largest Chinese investment in Europe to date.

The consortium will raise half of the 7.95 billion pounds from stakeholders and half from loans.

Once Wintime’s investments are in place, state-owned nuclear provider China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and the overseas investment arm of government enterprise China Reform Holdings Corp. will take 70% and 20% stakes in Definite Arise with investments of 2.78 billion pound and 795 million pound respectively. Each state-owned company currently has a 50% stake in the entity.

Approval in the investment from Wintime, a coal producer and electricity company based in Shanxi province, is necessary from the British government and Chinese regulators.

Wintime is unlikely to be the last private company to invest in the project. Cao Yigang, head of the Hinckley Point C project at GCN, said during a briefing in October that more financial investors will be sought to meet the immense funding needs of the plant.

In September, London gave a delayed go-ahead for the project, the first nuclear undertaking in Britain in more than two decades, following security concerns over foreign funding in sensitive sectors. Under the contract, French energy group Electricite de France SA will finance about two-thirds of the project, with Chinese companies paying the remaining 33.5%.

Construction is expected to begin in 2019 and operations will start in 2025. The plant is expected to provide 7% of Britain’s power demand.

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