China currently has plans to more than double its number of nuclear power reactors over the next five years, to provide an additional 58GWe of energy. This is then set to increase to around 150GWe by 2030. With such planned expansion it is no surprise that further developing our relationships in China will be a major factor in realising our own ambitions, as we develop our global nuclear business, both in home and international markets.

There are huge opportunities in new build, reactor support and waste management and decommissioning in both the UK and China, as well as in other international markets. In addition, the Chinese are also keen for a presence in the UK nuclear sector. We are already working with the key utilities and government agencies to show how our skills and experience can both help create and maximise these opportunities [and uniquely positioned for such an opportunity].

In Beijing I recently met with Qian Zhimin, the [State-appointed] President of the China National Nuclear Corporation, which oversees all aspects of China’s civil and military nuclear programmes, and our positive discussion resulted in the signing of a collaboration agreement between us both.

I also held positive discussions with other Chinese nuclear organisations, which covered a wide range of topics, and confirmed the plans for co-operation between Amec Foster Wheeler and the Chinese right across the nuclear sector.

There was also great interest in the visit from members of the Chinese media and I gave an interview to Sina, one of the largest news websites in China. The journalist was interested in what skills Amec Foster Wheeler can bring to help the Chinese nuclear industry and was particularly keen on our ambitions to work closely with all the key agencies.

It was a tremendously worthwhile visit that reinforced our customer service ethos, showing a willingness to bring our skills to bear wherever they are needed around the world.

As one person said on our visit: “Energy consumption is rising and demand must be met with the best possible skills for delivery.” And I am pleased to say that we have those skills and we are ready to deliver.