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Foreign bid call on nuclear plants
( 2003-10-24 10:19) (China Daily HK Edition)

The government is working to invite foreign companies to bid for designing and building its four new nuclear power generators that involve contracts worth billions of US dollars.

Two major domestic nuclear power firms, China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) and Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, are preparing tender documents which they plan to complete by the end of this year, according to CNNC officials.

The tender offer comes after the government announced that it plans to start the construction of four new 1,000-megawatt nuclear power units in Sanmen, East China's Zhejiang Province and in Lingdong, South China's Guangdong Province, before 2005.

Major international names such as Framatome, Alstom, Electricite de France and Westinghouse are battling hard to seize the contracts.

Yu Jianfeng, director of the Nuclear Power Department of CNNC, said once the foreign bidders are selected, his company will negotiate with the partner to try to use as much domestic technology and design as possible in the new generators.

"As the largest domestic nuclear power plant owner, we have both the technology and experience in building various nuclear power plants," said Yu.

"We are capable of playing a bigger role in the design of new plants."

China has imported eight of its eleven existing nuclear power generators from France, Canada and Russia. The first and second phase of the Qinshan plant in East China's Zhejiang Province is the only one that is installed with Chinese nuclear power generators.

Kang Rixin, the general manager of CNNC, said its three design institutions are working hard to design key components, including the reactor, for the new plants.

The company officials made the remarks to reporters Thursday before attending a ceremony marking the successful operation of the third phase of Qinshan Nuclear Plant, in which is installed China's first heavy-water reactor using Canadian Candu technology, and which is the largest Sino-Canadian co-operation project.

The Qinshan III phase is installed with two 700-megawatt nuclear power generators.

The first generator started commercial operations last December.

The second one commenced operation 112 days ahead of schedule in July, setting a world record for the shortest construction period.

As of yesterday, the two Qinshan III generators have produced 6.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.

Thanks to its good management, the company has cut investment by 2.5 billion yuan (US$302 million), which accounts for more than 10 per cent of the originally planned 23.9 billion yuan (US$2.9 billion), said Kang.

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