Qatar to invest £10bn in Britain’s key infrastructure projects

The gas-rich nation holds a portfolio of assets in Harrods, Shard skyscraper and Heathrow airport.

New Statesman
Qatar to invest in the UK energy projects. Photograph: Getty Images.

Qatar has initiated talks with the British government to invest around £10bn in road, rail, energy projects, the Thames super-sewer under London and other areas.

However, the exact figure of investment and the time frame are yet to be known since the discussions are underway. The sovereign Arab state, in the recent times, has acquired stakes in VW-Porsche, LVMH, Credit Suisse, J Sainsbury and Barclays, apart from a 20 per cent stake in BAA.

Among the projects discussed include the new £14bn nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset planned by the French electric utility EDF.

Infrastructure UK (IUK) is working in partnership with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to encourage overseas institutional investors to invest in new gas plants and wind farms as Britain is planning to close a swath of coal-fired power stations.

Furthermore, George Osborne offering guarantees through the Treasury to major infrastructure schemes such as the Northern Line extension to Battersea, the Mersey Gateway toll bridge and the partial conversion of Drax coal-fired power station to biofuel, reported the Financial Times.

Infrastructure Minister Lord Deighton, in his speech today, will say: “We hope to do even better and are working with institutional investors - from banks through pension funds to sovereign wealth funds – to ensure that the deepest possible sources of capital are available to the widest possible range of infrastructure projects.”