Chinese power plant plans sprint ahead

11 August 2008

As Electricité de France (EdF) finalises a joint venture with the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company enabling it to co-own and operate two nuclear reactors at Taishan, the China National Nuclear Corp has announced work will start on another nuclear power station in Hainan by the end of 2009.


EdF and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) signed the final agreements to create the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Co Ltd (TNPC) in Beijing. The company is being set up to oversee the building of, then own and operate, two Areva-designed Evolutionary Pressurized Reactors (EPRs) at Taishan in Guangdong province, modelled on the EPR currently being built at Flamanville in France. EdF will hold 30% of the joint venture company for 50 years, the maximum permitted for a Chinese joint venture. The creation of the joint venture company is still subject to approval by the Chinese authorities.


Contracts were signed with Areva for the construction of the two units in November 2007. Preliminary site work has already started, with first concrete  scheduled for the autumn of 2009 and the units scheduled to startup in 2013 and 2015, respectively. A contract worth $310 million has also recently been signed with Alstom to supply turbine islands for the two 1650 MWe EPRs.


Pierre Gadonneix, EdF's chairman and CEO, described the development as part of EdF's strategy to be a "leader" in the worldwide nuclear renaissance, "as an investor and an operator, possibly beside local partners."

2009 construction start at Changjiang


Meanwhile, the China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) has announced that work will start by the end of 2009 on a 1300 MWe nuclear power plant at Changjiang in the southern island province of Hainan. Initial approval for plant construction was granted by the country's National Developmental and Reform Commission (NDRC)on 18 July.


CNNC gave 2014 as the target date for commercial operation of the plant, which according to CNNC will comprise two 650 MWe pressurized water reactors (PWR), with over 70% of the plant's equipment made in China. China's operating nuclear power plants include French, Canadian and Russian designs. However, three reactors built to Chinese designs and construction are operating at Qinshan.


In addition to the two Changjiang reactors, work is expected to begin on a further 14 units in China over the next two years. Seven units are currently under construction.