CGN in talks with Rolls-Royce for equipment supply for UK power plant

21 January 2019 (Last Updated July 15th, 2020 23:43)

China's state-run nuclear energy company CGN is reportedly in talks with UK-based engineering firm Rolls-Royce for the supply of equipment for a power plant planned for the Essex coast.

CGN in talks with Rolls-Royce for equipment supply for UK power plant
Hitachi has also halted plans for a £20bn power station in UK. Credit: Lombroso.

China’s state-run nuclear energy company CGN is reportedly in talks with UK-based engineering firm Rolls-Royce for the supply of equipment for a power plant planned for the Essex coast.

This move is seen as part of efforts to ease national concerns about the power project, reported the Financial Times.

If the talks are successful, Rolls-Royce will provide control systems for the Hualong HPR1000 reactors that CGN intends to install at the power plant in Essex.

Considered the main system of a nuclear power plant, this technology helps drive the operation of the reactor and safely close the plant when required.

The Chinese group has its own control systems in addition to its reactor technology. However, using a UK-based company’s equipment will enable CGN to ease security concerns in the UK.

The UK’s nuclear programme is currently experiencing difficulties after last week’s decision by Hitachi to halt plans for a £20bn power station at Wylfa in Anglesey.

“The UK’s nuclear programme is currently experiencing difficulties after last week’s decision by Hitachi to halt plans for a £20bn power station at Wylfa in Anglesey.”

This move came after Toshiba pulled out of another project in Cumbria recently.

With the latest withdrawal, only EDF and CGN are left as potential bidders for new nuclear projects in the country.

French group EDF is constructing the Hinkley Point station in Somerset.  For this project, EDF has the financial support from CGN.

CGN confirmed to the daily that negotiations with Rolls-Royce are underway and it was part of the approvals process with the UK nuclear regulatory agency. It also added that a final deal is yet to be agreed.

The US raised concerns about Chinese firms using civilian nuclear technology and its potential military uses, reported Financial Times.

In December 2018, Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer Huawei agreed to several technical changes to allay security concerns of UK authorities.