HK Utility Deals for China Nuke

Monday, July 25, 2011 @ 05:07 PM gHale

Hong Kong utility, CLP Holdings Ltd., paid $11 billion for a 17 percent stake in China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company Ltd.’s Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station in southern China.

Construction started in 2008 on the 6,000 megawatt plant in western Guangdong province, which consists of six 1,000 megawatt pressurized water reactors. The plant, which is 220 kilometers west of Hong Kong, should be ready to phase in starting 2013 through 2017. The company will sell the electricity produced locally.

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The two companies already operate the coastal Daya Bay nuclear plant, which is also in Guangdong and sends most of its power to Hong Kong.

Beijing is promoting alternative energy sources such as nuclear, wind and solar to curb surging demand for imported oil and gas and to reduce environmental damage from heavy reliance on coal.

However, government officials signaled the country’s nuclear policy would stress safety over rapid development following Japan’s devastating nuclear crisis, which was the result of a huge tsunami in March that damaged a coastal power plant.

CLP sought to allay safety fears about the new plant, saying it “carefully assessed” safety standards of the design, construction and operational planning to make sure they comply with regulations.

The power plant will also follow “safety enhancement measures for withstanding extreme multiple natural disasters and strengthening capability for emergency preparedness,” CLP said.

China’s nuclear regulators said in June safety reviews of 28 reactors under construction should be ready by October. The officials checked the 13 operating plants and they received a clean bill of health.

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