The inland province of Guizhou has applied to the central government to list the Guizhou Wujiang Hydropower Development Corp in Hong Kong to raise three billion yuan (about HK$2.79 billion). Provincial government vice-governor Lou Jiwei said all documemts had been submitted to the central government and the province wanted Wujiang to be included in the fourth batch of H-share companies. Wujiang is the largest hydropower operator in Guizhou, running two hydropower stations, and intends to construct the third plant with the listing proceeds. Mr Lou said the provincial government was looking forward to trading Wujiang H shares next year. It needed six to nine months to prepare the listing after approval was granted. Wujiang would be Guizhou's first overseas listing company. Wujiang Hydropower has appointed Guangdong Capital Holdings as financial consultant for its listing and its officials met merchants banks in Hong Kong yesterday, Mr Lou said. Wujiang Hydropower vice-president Huang Kun said the aim of the listing was mainly to raise funds for the Hongjiadu hydropower station. Hongjiadu would cost about eight billion yuan and about three billion of this would be raised through listing H shares or through foreign direct investment, Mr Lou said. The remaining five billion yuan would be funded by the central and provincial governments, including loans from the State Developmet Bank and the Asia Development Bank, and through Wujiang's own internal reserves. Mr Lou refused to disclose the exact amount that would be raised through the listing, saying this depended on Beijing's approval. The Hongjiadu hydropower plant would take 71/2 years to complete. The Guizhou officials were confident about the attraction of Wujiangdu and its yield, saying hydropower was an investment with low risk. 'Athough the construction period of a hydropower station is longer than for a thermal plant, it bears no risk . . . [it has] low and stable operation cost,' Mr Huang said. Mr Lou said the return to the shareholders before the Hongjiadu plant began operation would be contributed to by the two existing hydropower stations - Wujiangdu and Dongfeng. The capacity of Wujiangdu was 6.3 million megawatts while Dongfeng was 5.1 million MW. Mr Huang said the two hydropowewr stations were generating good returns to the corporation but gave no figures. Mr Wang said Wujiang's gearing was low and Wujiangdu bore no debt. Mr Lou said the potential for Wujiang was far more than its current profits because the plants' electricity grid price was only .08 yuan per unit compared with the maximum average price of .22 yuan set by the central government.