Western firms tap China cash to bid for UK nuclear

By Karolin Schaps and Arno Schuetze

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – China may soon control one of Britain’s top nuclear projects after two Chinese state firms teamed up with Western players to bid for the $24 billion development, industry and financial sources told Reuters.

China, which has the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves of $3.3 trillion, has been expanding into Europe’s energy and infrastructure sectors by buying stakes in firms such as Britain’s Thames Water and Portuguese utility EDP (EDP.LS).

The British government wants to see new nuclear plants built, but cost overruns in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the slowing global economy have made it increasingly difficult for Western developers to find the billions of dollars needed for these projects.

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