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Tripartite pact signed on power co-operation
By Wang Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-17 09:46

China Huaneng Group, one of China's largest electric power providers, together with China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corp (CNEC) and Tsinghua University, signed an investment agreement yesterday in Beijing, for the construction of a high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor for nuclear power generation.

This marks a critical step towards the commercialization of this kind of nuclear reactor, said Li Xiaopeng, Huaneng Group's chairman and president. The 200,000-kilowatt nuclear power generator is expected to go into formal operation by the end of 2010.

Of the total investment, Huaneng injects 50 per cent, with CNEC and Tsinghua taking 35 per cent and 5 per cent respectively. The remaining 10 per cent will go to new investors attracted by the three partners upon consent.

The reactor's total investment, however, is currently unknown, as construction is still in an experimental period, said project sources.

As state of the art technology - with full property rights by China - the high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear power generation technology features high security in nuclear power generation, according to a researcher in nuclear power from Tsinghua University.

The commercial application of the new technology is conducive to China's electric power generation technological upgrading and industrialization, the Tsinghua source said.

"The agreement accords with China's medium- and long-term strategies, of vigorously developing the country's nuclear power and energy industry in order to optimize the electric power industry's structure." said an official from CNEC.

Currently, most of China's electric power generation relies on coal as its major fuel, in which lurks an irrational energy structure, and may hinder the country's sustainable economic development, according to industry experts.

"The co-operation, undoubtedly, will enhance China's technological industrialization and bolster the growth of the country's electric power industry and national economy," said an analyst with CITIC Research Institute.

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