GUANGZHOU, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- A leading Chinese nuclear power company, China General Nuclear Power (CGN), welcomed the British government's approval of the Hinkley Point C power plant Thursday.
"We are delighted that the British government has decided to proceed with the project. We will continue to work with our strategic partner French EDF to develop nuclear power projects at Hinkley Point, Sizewell and Bradwell, and provide safe, reliable and sustainable low-carbon energy for the U.K.," CGN's spokesman Huang Xiaofei told Xinhua
The U.K. government said it had confirmed the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant will go ahead following a new agreement with the French company EDF.
With total investment of 18 billion British pounds, Hinkley Point C will be the first nuclear power plant in the U.K. for more than 20 years. It will provide 7 percent of electricity for the country.
According to an agreement between the Chinese and French company, a CGN-led Chinese consortium holds a one-third stake in the project.
The regulatory approval by the British government is a historic step and a stepping stone for Chinese nuclear companies to gain market access to developed economies.
Two months ago, the British government surprisingly halted the project and called for a review of the program. CGN said in July that it respected the British government's decision, and they have been fully committed to providing safe and reliable energy for Britain.
"CGN is very glad and fully capable of providing technical support and contributing its experience to the Hinkley Point project," said He Yu, company chairman.
Chinese nuclear companies will also greatly benefit from cooperating with partners with advanced technology and valuable experience, he said.
"There is great market potential for nuclear power in the global market," said Yang Maochun, deputy director of international cooperation at CGN.
There is global demand for over 200 nuclear power stations, he said.
CGN is the world's fifth largest nuclear power provider in terms of operating capacity. It has cooperated with EDF for over three decades, the company said. h According to an agreement between CGN and EDF, the Bradwell project plans to use the Hualong One design, China's third-generation nuclear reactor design, after the technology passes British regulatory inspections.
Two power projects using the technology started construction in eastern Fujian Province and southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region last year.
Several countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, Turkey and Kazakhstan, have shown interest in the Hualong One design, CGN said.
"Every step we make in nuclear program in Britain will have an exemplary effect. Emerging markets will further cement their confidence in the Hualong One design," Huang said.