Huaneng seeks larger presence

Updated: 2011-09-30 10:43

By Yang Cheng and Li Yu (China Daily)

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Huaneng seeks larger presence

The central control room of Huaneng Group in the port economic zone of Tianjin municipality. The power giant said it plans to install capacity of nuclear power amounting to 1.45 million kilowatts by 2015.[Photo/China Daily]

Energy giant puts 'great effort into inland nuclear power projects'

CHENGDU - The power giant Huaneng Group said it has ambitious targets to achieve an installed capacity of 1.45 million kilowatts (kW) of nuclear power by 2015 and 7.7 million kW by 2020.

"We are a latecomer to the nuclear power sector, but we are taking gradual and solid steps to boost our presence in the area," said Cui Shaozhang, deputy general-manager of Huaneng Nuclear Power Development Co Ltd at the China (Chengdu) New Energy International Summit 2011.

Since nuclear accidents at Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in March, Chinese companies have been taking added precautions in their nuclear development to ensure safety.

Huaneng now ranks as second globally and No 1 in Asia in terms of general power generation.

By January, the total installed power capacity of its 175 power plants, coal and new energy, hit 118 million kW. Its installed capacity and power generation account for more than 10 percent of the China's total.

"We are now devoting great effort to inland nuclear power projects," Cui said. "It's an inevitable choice, because the lion's share, or let's say, most of the best locations for offshore projects have been snatched by leading counterparts, and inland power projects are cost-efficient," he said.

Huaneng has made most of its investments in high temperature gas cooled reactors, which have a higher safety level and the best emission treatment facilities.

It has launched a project with the technology in Shidaogang port, in eastern Shandong province, with current installed capacity of 200,000 kW - Cui declined to disclose the amount of the investment.

The company has a current installed capacity of 500,000 kW in nuclear projects it owns independently and a combined installed capacity of 640,000 kW of nuclear power it operates for other companies.

Also at the forum was an executive with China Power Investment Corp, who said the company expects the installed capacity of its nuclear projects to account for 15 percent of its total power by 2020.

According to Hao Hongsheng, president of the Jiangxi Branch of the China Power Investment Corp, the company has been investing in a project in Pengze, in northeastern Jiangxi province, since 2008.

The investment is expected to reach 2.9 billion yuan ($453 million), and Hao said the province has high hopes for the power the plant will generate.

Cui said that inland nuclear plants have become the major trend in China.

There are 27 projects now under construction in China, with planned installed capacity of 3.75 million kW.

"Inland plants represent the major development prospect for the sector globally, while the key challenges are emission treatment and natural disasters," Hao said.

Peng Chao contributed to this story.