China Light & Power has signed a multi-billion dollar, joint-venture agreement with several partners, bringing the planned construction of a 1,050 megawatt, gas-fired power station in Shenzhen a step closer to reality. The deal signed yesterday includes China Light, Exxon Energy of the US, Shenzhen Qianwan Electric Power Development, Guangdong Electric Power Holdings - both of China - and Kanematsu Power Co of Japan. A China Light spokesman said the project - for which a Memorandum of Understanding was signed last October - was expected to cost between $6 and $7 billion, and be completed in 2000. Investors reacted positively to the news. China Light shares surged 2.89 per cent to $34.50, their biggest one-day gain in three months. China Light and Exxon will each take a 17.5 per cent interest, the two Chinese parties will hold a total of 36 per cent while Kanematsu will have 29 per cent. The Shenzhen plant will consist of three units of 350MW class combined-cycle gas turbines fuelled mainly by natural gas. Analysts said the venture would help China Light dispose of an anticipated oversupply of natural gas it was expected to accumulate because of a construction delays at its Black Point Power Station. China Light and Exxon, through their jointly owned Castle Peak Power Co (Capco), have a long-term contract with the Yacheng 13-1 gas field in the South China Sea to fuel Black Point. The Government's demand that the construction at Black Point be delayed had left Capco in a quandary. The Government had said the territory already had excess electric capacity. Yesterday's joint-venture agreement was accompanied by news that Capco was in discussions to re-supply gas to the Shenzhen plant. SocGen-Crosby analyst Will Beck said: 'News of the signing is positive for China Light because it now has the ability to re-sell the gas. That had been a concern.' John Tang, a spokesman for China Light, said the parties would now proceed to a more detailed feasibility study and further discussions of the venture. Analysts said Citic Pacific's recent acquisition of a stake in China Light played no part in bringing about the joint-venture agreement, but Citic's presence could aid further negotiations. Citic, an arm of China's largest investment company, purchased 20 per cent of China Light in January.