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Leadsom: Hinkley will create infrastructure ‘fit for 21st century’

An agreement between EDF and its Chinese partner China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) will create a infrastructure "fit for the 21st century" according to the UK Energy secretary. Conservative politician Amber Rudd said the government was tackling a legacy of under-investment in the UK. The deal was signed amid a landmark visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping where he has met with both politicians and dignitaries.

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Cameron in No10 talks to seal trade deals with China

David Cameron will host talks with Xi Jinping at Downing Street as he seeks to cement multi-billion trade deals during the Chinese president’s four-day state visit to the UK. Investment by Beijing in Britain’s first UK nuclear power plant in a generation is expected to be confirmed as part of what the Government hopes will amount altogether to £30 billion of agreements. But the lavish welcome given to the president was attacked as a “national humiliation” by a former close adviser to the Prime Minister, who is under pressure to raise concerns about human rights and “dumped” cheap steel blamed for the loss of thousands of British jobs.

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Vince Cable says China shouldn’t be scapegoated for UK steel meltdown

China should not be made a “scapegoat” for the collapse of the UK’s steel industry, Sir Vince Cable has said, accusing the Treasury of holding back with financial assistance that could help relieve pressures. The Liberal Democrat former business secretary said David Cameron should urge action from Beijing to curb production and noted there was a technical question to be examined over whether China was guilty of illegal “dumping”. But he insisted there had been “endless problems with steel” unrelated to China while he was in government that ministers had some power to alleviate.

Oil & Gas

Sinopec completes expansion at Chinese refinery

Sinopec has completed expansion works at a refinery in China by adding 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude unit. The company said it plans to raise throughput in the fourth quarter at the Jiujiang refinery in the Jiangxi province.

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Protesters set up camp near proposed Hinkley nuclear power station

Campaigners have set up a protest camp near the site of the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. They have established a camp on a roundabout at the gates of the development in west Somerset as the president of China, Xi Jinping, arrives for a four-day state visit to the UK.

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UK spies set to monitor IT systems at Chinese-built nuclear plants

British spies are expected to scrutinise computer systems at new nuclear plants built by Chinese firms to address national security fears. Listening post GCHQ will be responsible for ensuring the country’s energy network is not made vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to The Times. The safeguard emerged as President Xi Jinping arrives for a four-day state visit hailed by David Cameron as a symbol of a “golden era” in relations with Beijing.

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EDF hopes to announce deal with Chinese investors in coming days for Hinkley Point

EDF said its hopes to announce a deal with Chinese investors to build a nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in the coming days. The French company’s chief executive Jean Bernard Levy said it was in the final negotiations with its Chinese partners. However he said he did not want to anticipate what would happen later this week as China’s President Xi Jingping to Britain.

Oil & Gas

China’s economic growth declines to six-year low

China’s economy decelerated in the latest quarter but stronger spending by consumers who are emerging as an important pillar of growth helped to avert a deeper downturn. The world’s second-largest economy grew by 6.9% in the three months ended in September, the slowest since early 2009 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, data showed. That was down from the previous quarter’s 7%. Weakening trade and manufacturing have fuelled concern about possible job losses and unrest. The communist government has cut interest rates five times since last November in an effort to shore up growth. The latest figures highlight the two-speed nature of China’s economy in the midst of a marathon effort by the Communist Party to nurture self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption and reduce reliance on trade and investment. Manufacturers are shrinking and shedding millions of jobs while consumer-oriented businesses expand.

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Chinese investment in UK nuclear power ‘could pose security risk’

Experts have expressed concern about the prospect of Chinese investment in the UK nuclear power sector, with claims the move could threaten national security. A final investment decision on the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, Somerset, could be announced during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s state visit. Chancellor George Osborne has already announced a £2 billion Government guarantee to secure Chinese funding for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station set to be built by French firm EDF, and indicated that the next step may be a Chinese-designed, Chinese-built nuclear plant at Bradwell in Essex.

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Former Sinopec chairman under investigation

The governor of Fujian province in has been placed under investigation by Chinese authorities on suspicion of “serious disciplinary violations”. The move has been made by China’s anti-graft watchdog against Su Shulin who has been governor since 2011 and was formerly chairman of Sinopec.

Oil & Gas

Global oil market gets new Chinese traders hungry to taste crude

They long stood in the shadows of state- owned Chinese energy giants, small in size and clustered in an eastern province along the coast. Now, independent refiners are wielding growing clout in the global oil market. Shandong Dongming Petrochemical Group, the biggest of dozens of privately owned refiners known as “teapots,” illustrates how such processors may be coming into their own after for years depending on state-owned companies for oil. It began importing supply on its own this year after hiring two crude traders in Singapore, according to Shen Fan, a deputy general manager at Pacific Commerce Holdings Pte, its trading unit. China is widening access for teapots as part of its drive to encourage private investment in its energy industry. That may boost imports into the world’s second-biggest oil user, helping counter a glut that’s cut benchmark prices by half in the past year. The small plants account for almost a third of the nation’s processing capacity, and if Shandong Dongming is a guide, may attract cargoes from Latin America to West Africa and Australia.

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Amec Foster Wheeler wins Louisiana methanol contract

Amec Foster Wheeler has won a contract from Yuhang Chemical Inc (YCI) for its first major project in the US. The subsidiary of Shandong Yuhuang company has planned a 1.7million tons per year world-scale methanol on the Mississippi River in Louisiana. The contract will see Amec Foster Wheeler provide engineering, project management, procurement and early construction services.

Oil & Gas

Pursuit of China’s oil prize is race for second-place spoils

In the race to supply crude to the world’s biggest energy user, it’s the tussle for second place that’s too close to call. Russia, Angola and Iran are vying to be runner-up to Saudi Arabia as the top seller to China. The contest is set to intensify as Iran seeks to recover market share lost because of sanctions and the US Congress debates a nuclear deal that’ll allow the Persian Gulf state to boost shipments. China overtook the US as the biggest importer of crude most recently in June, taking advantage of a 50 percent slump in benchmark prices over the past year to boost strategic reserves. With the Asian nation forecast to account for more than a quarter of global demand growth in 2016, the prize of becoming a top supplier will bolster the economic health of national producers that depend on energy exports for most of their budget revenue.

Oil & Gas

IEA chief calls for greater partnership with China

The new head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said there needed to be greater partnership between the organisation and China. Fatih Birol made the comments on his first visit to the world's largest energy consumer. Birol, who took up his new post earlier this month, told an audience of Chinese officials and foreign diplomats in Beijing that one of his top priorities in the role will be to strengthen ties with the company.


China’s slowing auto market to put further pressure on oil

China's falling auto sales have been at the forefront of concerns that its economy is slowing much faster than expected, weighing on oil prices. Yet moves to cut the cost of car-financing as part of economic stimulus efforts this week may not be enough to drive up auto sales or boost demand for oil, analysts said. Domestic car sales have fallen since April, dropping by 7 percent, or more than 100,000 cars, in July from a year ago and likely putting out of reach even a revised 2015 vehicle growth target of 3 percent, down from 7 percent previously.

Oil & Gas

PetroChina profit dives 63 pct in first half

PetroChina, China's biggest oil and gas producer, reported a 63 percent drop in its first-half profit, with earnings upstream and in the marketing segment both taking a hit from lower prices.