NATIONAL Power (NP), Britain's largest electricity generator, is moving to plug into more of China's US$100 billion power budget. Andrew Gordon, a National Power director, was in Hong Kong and China meeting senior officials last week with proposals for more work in the energy-hungry southern mainland regions. ''China's attraction is long term because of the size of the market, but we are taking a measured approach to it,'' he said. The company is already involved in a $2.5 billion coal-fired plant in Zhejiang province, whose output will provide sufficient electricity for a city of 2.5 million. Mr Gordon said: ''We would really like to get another project next year. We are presently in a series of negotiations.'' But he said that turning a proposal into a project could take up to 80 separate agreements. ''The way forward for a company like us is to become a multinational power generating company.'' The company, which has annual turnover of about $6 billion, is also involved in projects in India, Pakistan and Australia. China plans to expand its annual power generating capacity by eight per cent, or 15,000 megawatts a year, to the end of the century. This is about 11/2 times the electricity used by Hong Kong each year. It is estimated that the Chinese authorities want foreign companies to invest about $25 billion. The three investment options for China are traditional project financing, private sale of equity and listing of companies. According to Beijing-based officials in the power industry, National Power is on good terms with Chinese officials, despite the sometimes frosty Sino-British trade relations. But there has been growing discontent between some Western companies and Chinese authorities about a 15 per cent cap on investment returns and claims that a political tug-of-war between Beijing and provincial authorities is disrupting development of resources.