Deal to be part of £30bn of investment
President Xi seals nuclear deal amid energy gap concerns
The Chinese will provide 30% of the cost of the Hinkley Point plant in Somerset which is being built by French electricity company EDF.
However, concerns have been raised that a delay in opening the plant in 2025 coincides with a rundown in subsidies for renewables and could create a shortage of energy supply.
The nuclear deal is part of more than £30 billion worth of deals between the UK and China which are expected to be struck during President Xi’s four-day visit.
Two other nuclear power stations, at Sizewell in Suffolk, and Bradwell in Essex, could follow as part of the deal with China.
Talks have been ongoing for two years since former Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced the agreement. Chancellor George Osborne visited China last month and secured the deal.
Hinkley will create 25,000 jobs and provide enough energy to power six million homes but the original plan was for it to start generating electricity by 2023.
Opponents have also raised security concerns about allowing China a central role in Britain’s nuclear future.