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Nuclear-power firm mulls going public
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China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co (CGNPC) yesterday announced that it would go public in a bid to "get bigger and stronger".


The smaller player of China's two nuclear power corporations just ordered two nuclear reactors with third-generation technology from Areva, the world's largest maker of the units, for its new project in Taishan, Guangdong Province in late November.


"We are capable of taking half of the domestic market shares of nuclear power supply, but we are far lagging behind the country's top five power suppliers, which reinforce our ambitions to get bigger and stronger in the future," said Zhang Weiqing, spokesman for CGNPC in a press briefing.


The goal will be achieved in a variety of means, including raising funds from stock markets, he added.


"Going public could raise the company's transparency and is good to improve management. We do not rule out the possibility to be a listed company and preparation is underway under the guidance of the higher authority," Zhang said.


When the thermal power companies were reported to suffer great losses last year due to the price hike of coal, CGNPC recorded a slight increase in revenue, from nearly 11.2 billion yuan in 2006 to 11.5 billion yuan in 2007, without operation of new units.


However, given that the price for uranium is also on the rise, Zhang said the company is actively increasing the reserve of the rare element and looking for new uranium mines.


The company has cooperated with local companies in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to explore uranium mines. "We will set up a branch in Kazakhstan soon," Zhang added.


The firm's new deal with Areva also allowed it to gain access to 35 percent of production from Areva uranium unit UraMin Inc.


Zhang also explained for the first time on the application of the third-generation technology to the Taishan project rather than the previously planned Yangjiang project, also in Guangdong.


"It was almost ready for the construction of Yangjiang nuclear power station last year, but the negotiation on the introduction of third-generation technology would take time. Finally we decided to make the adjustment to use the new technology in Taishan project," Zhang told the reporters.


The Yangjiang project is expected to start construction in the second half of this year while the Taishan project just started. The two nuclear units might be put into operation by 2026, he added.


(China Daily January 25, 2008)


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