China making moves to overtake global nuclear power market


By Barbara Vergetis Lundin 

The Chinese government has shown strong support for nuclear power as part of the country’s energy mix in its efforts to decrease air pollution from coal-fired plants. This year alone, China has brought three new reactors online, totaling 3.2 GW of capacity, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Happiness Gate in Weihai, Shandong, China. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Fanghong

In addition to the new reactors (Yangjiang 1, Hongyanhe 2 and Ningde 2), China has also made a substantial investment in two new units at its Haiyang facility.

“On February 27, 2014, the Chinese government agreed to invest $5.1 billion in the construction and development of two nuclear power units at the Haiyang nuclear facility in Yantai, Shandong Province,” said Sneha Elias, GlobalData’s power analyst. “The total installed capacity of the two units is 2.2 GW. The investment per megawatt will be $2.32 million.”

Additionally, the China National Nuclear Corporation and one of its subsidiaries — China Nuclear Engineering — is listing shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, for gross proceeds of $2.64 billion and $0.29 billion, respectively.

“China National Nuclear Corporation intends to issue up to 3.651 billion shares, or 25 percent of its enlarged capital, at a price of CNY4.46 ($0.72) per share, for gross proceeds of up to CNY16.3 billion ($2.64 billion) in an initial public offering,” Elias said. “The company intends to use these proceeds to finance its four nuclear power projects in Fujian, Zhejiang, Hainan and Jiangsu province, and for general working capital purposes.”

Currently, China has 20 active nuclear reactors, with 28 more under construction and another 10 that are to begin commercial operation between 2017 and 2025.

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