China is set to acquire a multibillion-pound shareholding in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Somerset from the French energy giant EDF.
Two of China's state-run power companies are thought to be vying to take a 20 per cent in the venture and talks have been ongoing for weeks.
EDF, which owns 80 per cent of its nuclear business, plans to replace the power station at Hinkley Point, Somerset.
Centrica, owner of British Gas, which declined to comment, owns the other 20 per cent stake in EDF's nuclear operation, and is thought to be committed to maintaining its shareholding.
A spokesman for EDF said: "We said that we were open to the idea of other partners investing in the project. As we approach our final investment decision, it is right to consider funding options, including seeking additional partners."