State nuclear power firm set up

By Wan Zhihong (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-05-23 06:50

A nuclear-power company which will mainly be in charge of using advanced foreign technology and indigenous development was officially launched yesterday.

State Nuclear Power Technology Corp Ltd (SNPTC) - the preparation for whose establishment began more than two years ago - is close to completing a deal with US-based Westinghouse Electric Co to build third-generation nuclear power generators, said Wang Binghua, president of the company.

"We expect to sign an agreement with Westinghouse next month," he said.

SNPTC and Westinghouse signed a framework agreement on March 1 under which China will use the AP1000 technology of Westinghouse for four third-generation nuclear reactors, two in Sanmen of Zhejiang Province; and two in Haiyang of Shandong Province.

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Westinghouse, which was bought by Japan's Toshiba for $4.16 billion in October last year, outbid its competitor, France's Areva, after two years of negotiations.

SNPTC has a registered capital of 4 billion yuan ($520 million), said Zhang Guobao, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner.

The central government will fund 60 percent of the company, with the remaining shares held by four large State-owned enterprises, he added.

They are China National Nuclear Corp, China Power Investment Corp, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co Ltd - which control all existing nuclear-power facilities in the country - and China National Technical Imp & Exp Corp, with each taking up 10 percent.

"As the world's second-largest energy consumer, China is looking more to nuclear power for a balanced mix of power generation," said Han Xiaoping, executive vice-president of, a top energy website in China.

The nation has become the third-biggest nuclear-energy producer in Asia after Japan and South Korea, according to a 2006 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Nuclear power has become the third important source of electricity generation in China after thermal power and hydropower.

The 2006 annual report of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission showed that at the end of last year, nuclear power accounted for 1.1 percent in the total installed power capacity. The plan is to increase nuclear power capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2020, accounting for 4 percent of the total generating capacity.

(China Daily 05/23/2007 page1)

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