CHINA Light and Power yesterday signed an agreement to study the joint development of three power stations in Shandong province with a generating capacity of 3,600 megawatts - more than half the company's current capacity in Hongkong. The study, to be completed early next year, could lead to CLP building, owning and operating three coal-fired plants in the counties of Shiheng, Heze and Jining with Shandong Electric Power Co. CLP managing director Ross Sayers said the company's long-term partner Exxon, the US energy group, also could become involved. ''We have a long-term relationship with them [Exxon] in Hongkong and it would be logical to extend that,'' Mr Sayers said. The project would need loan finance and the cost would depend on the mix of local and imported equipment. Mr Sayers said only that it would be a ''very substantial sum'' and that some of the loan capital could be raised locally. The agreement is the third Shandong power deal signed in Hongkong this week as a party of officials from the province is visiting the territory. Based on the pricing provided for other deals, the cost of the 3,600MW stations will exceed US$2 billion. Mr Sayers said among the factors which helped the company win the deal was its Daya Bay nuclear station, the largest Sino-foreign joint venture. He indicated that discussions were taking place with other areas of the mainland, but provided no details. If the development goes ahead it will be outside the scheme of control used to regulate Hongkong business and Mr Sayers therefore said it would not affect Hongkong customers. There also will be no power transferred between the territory and Shandong. EDF, the French group associated with the Daya Bay project, would have no role, he said. The study will include environmental, financial and technical issues. The other Shandong power deals announced this week were by Cathay International and, reportedly, CITIC Hongkong. However, if it proceeds CLP's project will dwarf both of those enterprises.