Thailand to help China build two nuclear reactors

Thailand to help China build two nuclear reactors

Beijing: China and Thailand will jointly build two nuclear power reactors in South-Central China that will incorporate Chinese-developed third-generation technology known as Hualong-1, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

Beijing is embarking on an ambitious plan to export locally developed technology as well as its equipment manufacturing capacity potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and Thailand's Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding (Ratch), will set up a joint venture to build and operate the second phase of a nuclear power plant in Fangchenggang city in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Xinhua said.

Ratch, an independent power producer with the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand as its majority stakeholder, on Wednesday said it had entered into an equity investment deal with CGN and China's Guangxi Investment Group Co.

The joint venture will invest in two reactors, each rated at 1,180 megawatts, with commercial operation slated for 2021, Ratch said.

Fangchenggang, a port city near Vietnam, is the second site at which China plans to build Hualong-1 reactors under a pilot programme.

Construction of the first one started in Fujian province on the southeastern coast in May.

Just a week ago, China's State Council gave the green light to build Hualong reactors at Fangchenggang.

Hualong was jointly designed by CGN and China National Nuclear Corporation.

The Chinese-Thai alliance at Fangchenggang may pave the way for China to export Hualong to Asean members, Xinhua said.

In October, CGN agreed to invest US$9 billion in French utility EDF's Hinkley Point project, Britain's first new nuclear plant in a generation.

As part of that deal, EDF will help CGN to gain a licence to build a Hualong reactor at another site in Britain, whose nuclear regulatory regime is seen as one of the most stringent in the world. Reuters 

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