China utility plans 2 nuclear projects
Eric Ng in Beijing
China Power Investment Corp, one of five state-owned national power producers, plans to build two nuclear projects to take advantage of Beijing's plan to markedly expand capacity of the alternative energy.
The parent company of Hong Kong-listed China Power International Development planned to build a plant in Guangxi province and another in Jilin province, said company president Lu Qizhou on the sidelines of the annual National People's Congress.
The new projects will add to others under construction by China Power Investment in Hongyuanhe, Liaoning province, Haiyang in Shandong province, and Pengze in Jiangxi province.
'The central government plans to announce this year a long-term plan for the development of the nuclear industry,' Mr Lu said.
Kang Rixin, the president of China National Nuclear Corp, the country's largest developer of nuclear power projects, said Beijing planned to raise the country's 2020 nuclear capacity target to 70 gigawatts from the 40GW set in 2005, Bloomberg reported.
The company has the biggest presence in the nuclear sector among the five leading power firms.
The first phase of the Hongyuanhe project includes four 1.11GW generating units, which are due to be completed between 2012 and 2014, while the Haiyang project consists of two 1GW units that are scheduled to come on stream in 2014.
Each GW unit costs several billion dollars to build.
China Power Investment holds stakes in eight nuclear power stations - five in operation and three under construction - according to its website.
Meanwhile, Mr Lu said he expected improved prospects this year as a result of lower coal prices, after recording a loss of 6.7 billion yuan (HK$7.6 billion) last year.