Hopewell Holdings has reassured investors in its listed subsidiary Consolidated Electric Power Asia (Cepa) that any change of ownership will not affect existing or future power deals. Cepa yesterday signed a letter of intent with state-owned Shenzhen Energy Corp to build and operate the Shenzhen Eastern Power Station with an initial investment of nine billion yuan (about HK$8.37 billion) for the first phase. Hopewell's project controller, Alan Chan Chi-hung, said any share sale would have no effect on the project. 'This [Shenzhen Eastern Power Station] is one of the investments of Cepa. It should not be affected by any other factors,' Mr Chan said. Hopewell chairman Gordon Wu Ying-sheung declined to comment on the possible share sale. Tang Yaozhi, vice-secretary general of the Shenzhen municipal people's government, said it had chosen Cepa because of its shareholder background and involvement with Mr Wu. The infrastructure development company confirmed on Monday it was in negotiations with various parties to sell part or all of its 60.4 per cent holding in Cepa. Cepa shares rose for a second day to $16.40 yesterday from $16.30 on the news and have now risen 6.11 per cent in the past two days. The parties were expected to work out details on the new power plant, including funding, Mr Chan said. He said the project would be run either as a joint venture or on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. 'Our Shajiao C power station is operated under BOT with the Chinese Government's licence and price control mechanism,' he said. The 8x330-megawatt Shenzhen Eastern Power Station will be China's first large-scale electricity generator fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The first four units will be commissioned in 2001. Mr Chan said LNG, considered environmentally friendly, was comparatively more expensive than coal, a common source of fuel. 'It won't hurt our profit margin since the units using LNG are cheaper than those using coal,' Mr Chan said. 'It also won't affect the pricing of electricity because the agreement includes a set price of 0.8 yuan per watt for the end-user.' It will have a storage capacity that can hold up to three million tonnes of LNG. About 2.5 million tonnes will be used by the power plant while the remainder will be available to Shenzhen residents, Mr Tang said.