Chancellor George Osborne "confident" about Hinkley Point deal

Jessica Morris
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Osborne said that he is due to visit China this month (Source: Getty)

Chancellor George Osborne has said that the government's plan to build a new nuclear power plant at the Hinkley Point power station is on track.

"I am pretty confident that we are going to be able to do a deal, but we are still in the negotiations," he told the Lords Economic Affairs committee.

Britain needs to replace about 20 per cent of its ageing nuclear and coal power plants during the next 10 years, and the Hinkley Point power station will help it to achieve this.

But the French developer of Hinkley point, energy firm EDF, has warned that the project has been hit by delays and will not start generating power in 2023, as previously expected.

Read more: China in deal to develop nuclear reactor in Essex

Osborne told the committee he's due to visit China this month, where he's expected to lobby for the completion of the deal, while the president of China will visit the UK in October.

While the government and French energy firm EDF are trying to complete the project, discussions around the level of Chinese investment are still ongoing.

In 2013, EDF said it would retain a 45-50 per cent stake in Hinkley, with China General Nuclear Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation taking a combined stake of up to 40 per cent. Other investors were expected to take on the remainder.

However, EDF boss Jean-Bernard Levy said last week that no further investors would be confirmed before the final investment decision is made.

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