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CGN eyes Poland for China's nuclear exports

By Zheng Xin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-26 07:44

CGN eyes Poland for China's nuclear exports

Workers check facilities at a project of China General Nuclear Power Corp in Fangchenggang, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Photo by Liang Fuying/For China Daily]

China General Nuclear Power Corp is eyeing Poland as a potential destination for nuclear exports, as part of its expansion in Europe apart from the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Romania.

Polish authorities have been consulting with CGN, China's largest nuclear operator, on cooperating and building the country's first nuclear power station, according to a statement on the CGN website on Monday.

"CGN attaches substantial significance to the Polish nuclear power market and is willing to become a long-term strategic partner of the country," said Shu Guogang, vice-president of CGN.

The two parties signed a Memorandum Of Understanding on cooperation on civil nuclear energy use earlier this month, which Shu said would bring mutual benefits to both countries.

According to Poland's Energy Ministry, the visit to China earlier this month was to explore the possibility of cooperation between the Polish and Chinese nuclear sectors.

Poland in 2014 announced plans to build two nuclear power stations with a total capacity of 6 million kilowatts. The first unit is expected to be completed by the end of 2030.

The Polish delegation visited existing and newly constructed nuclear power plants, and research and development centers, to explore the potential of the Chinese nuclear industry, it said.

The Memorandum Of Understanding is yet more evidence that the drive by Chinese electric power industry to diversify abroad is gradually expanding, said Joseph Jacobelli, a senior analyst of Asian utilities and infrastructure at Bloomberg Intelligence.

"CGN's experience and financing capability and capacity means the company should be able to lock in one or more overseas deals in the next few quarters, despite the fact that whether the company can nail more deals in Eastern Europe is difficult to say at this stage because of the complex nature," said Jacobelli.

"Nuclear investments take a long time to complete as they are more complex, while projects may also create local social backlashes and have security considerations."

According to Jacobelli, CGN's cooperation with the British government is more of a springboard for the company to reach other destinations in the European continent.

CGN signed an agreement on the Hinkley Point C power plant with French utility EDF and the British government last September, which has been hailed as a gateway to promote Chinese nuclear technology.

"The UK is the perfect base from a logistics perspective. It is a perfect springboard for development," he said.

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