The nation's biggest nuclear reactor builder, China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC), has signed an agreement with one of China's top five power producers to build six reactors in east China's Fujian Province.
Beijing-based CNNC and China Huadian Group yesterday announced the setting-up of Fujian Fuqing Nuclear Co Ltd.
The venture will develop as many as six 1,000-MW (megawatt) nuclear reactors in Fuqing.
It is the first nuclear cooperation project between CNNC and a State-owned power firm whose core business is not nuclear power development.
According to the agreement, CNNC owns 51 percent of the new venture, with the remaining 49 percent owned by Huadian.
CNNC will be responsible for development, construction and the operation of the Fujian nuclear plant.
China Huadian will participate in decision-making and project management.
Officials from both companies declined to comment on the total investment involved in the new project and when construction would begin.
But feasibility studies have already been completed and the project has been included in China's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10), the CNNC said.
China is working hard to diversify its energy mix by pushing the use of nuclear and renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.
The country plans to use nuclear power to supply 4 percent of its electricity demand by 2020. That figure currently stands at less than 2 percent.
Currently, nine nuclear reactors are in operation in China. In the coming 15 years, the country will need to build at least two reactors annually, each with a capacity of 1,000 MW, to reach its ambitious target.
By the end of last year, China Huadian had a total installed power-generating capacity of 38.8 GW (gigawatts), Huadian's President He Gong said.
As much as 80.9 percent of Huadian's power facilities are coal-fired, the remaining capacity comes from hydro-electric plants.
The company plans to increase its capacity to 60 GW within the next five years and to 100 GW by 2020, Huadian said on its website.
(China Daily May 19, 2006)