NuGen takeover: Chinese power giant heads to London to discuss nuclear rescue package

Oliver Gill
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The NuGen project is in Moorside, Cumbria

A Chinese state-backed suitor is circling Toshiba's troubled Cumbrian NuGen nuclear plant, according to reports.

A delegation of executives from State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) is due in London this week. They will meet with representatives from NuGen and the Nuclear Industry Association on Tuesday, the Sunday Times reported.

Read more: Kepco shows caution over NuGen deal while Moorside's future remains at risk

Interest from China could test Prime Minister Theresa May's resolve over concerns about foreign takeovers of Britain's energy, defence and telecoms firms.

Another state-backed operator, China General Nuclear, has 33 per cent stake in the £18bn Hinkley Point nuclear project. Last year, May demanded the government be given a "golden share" in the project. This would give them a right of veto over any future sale.

Read more: Engie backs out of the Moorside project, selling its stake to Toshiba

One of May's key political advisers, Nick Timothy, has previously said Chinese investment into nuclear power was a threat to UK national security.

The NuGen plant was put up for sale after Toshiba took huge losses from overruns and delays in its reactor business Westinghouse. Although the division's key problems were in the US and Japan, Toshiba has mothballed its NuGen operations until a new owner can be found.

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