Yangjiang nuclear investment on hold

04 September 2013

Plans by Hong Kong utility CLP to take a 17% stake in the six-reactor Yangjiang nuclear power plant have been halted by regulatory delays and an investment review by project leader China General Nuclear.

Yangjiang 3 dome lifting (CGNPC)
Lifting the lid for Yangjiang 3 in June last year. Four units are under construction, the first of which is due to start operation late this year (Image: CGN)

CLP's announcement to the Hong Kong stock exchange explained the lead-up to the decision to end negotiations that began in July 2010. The company said that China's year-long hiatus in nuclear approvals after the Fukushima accident had also applied to the official go-ahead for its stake in the development. When approvals resumed, there were "further design implications for Yangjiang", said the utility.

The new nuclear power plant in Guangdong province already has four CPR-1000 units well advanced in construction. Two further units were slated to start construction this year - which could be either more CPR-1000s, or later developments the CPR-1000+ or the ACPR-1000.

CLP said it was told by project leader China General Nuclear (CGN) this week that "due to continuing delays in regulatory approvals and CGN's own review of its funding needs and capital raising options, CLP would not be able to take up its 17% equity share in Yangjiang for the time being."

A conditional share transfer agreement from August 2011 has now lapsed, and a deposit paid by CLP of over HKD$1.1 billion ($140 million) has already been refunded.

CLP gave no indication it would abandon the idea of taking on more nuclear capacity. It already purchases 70% of the output from the two 944 MWe reactors at Daya Bay, and this makes up 30% of CLP's supplies and 25% of Hong Kong's overall.

When announcing first involvment in Yangjiang, CLP said, "This investment supports the central government's announcement to cut 40% to 45% of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in China by 2020 from its 2005 level, whilst contributing to the sustainable development of the Pearl River Delta region."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News