China to decide on tenders for four nuclear reactors in February
China will kick off an ambitious plan to more than double its nuclear generating capacity by announcing in February the winners of two contracts to build four 1,000 megawatt reactors, state press said Tuesday.
US-based Westinghouse, France's Areva and Russia's AtomStroyExport are vying for the two multi-billion dollar contracts, each of which will be for two of the nuclear reactors, the China Daily said.
The three companies have been competing for the projects since the central government gave the go ahead for construction earlier this year, but no timetable for awarding the contract had been put forward until now.
Two of the reactors will be built in Sanmen in eastern Zhejiang province and the others in Yangjiang in south Guangdong province.
China plans to increase its nuclear generating capacity from 8,700 megawatts to 36,000 megawatts by 2020, a plan that calls for the building of at least one 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactor a year over the next 16 years.
The ambitious plan is being implemented in an effort to overcome ongoing energy shortages and to build up alternatives to rampant coal use which is causing serious air pollution, acid rain and global warming, the paper said.
By 2020, about four percent of China's total power output will be from nuclear power, up from just under two percent today, the paper said.
China has nine nuclear power reactors in operation, with two 1,000 megawatt Russian reactors expected to go online in the coming months.
Separately, the State Council, China's cabinet, has ordered an investigation into planned power plants or those already under construction, Xinhua news agency reported.
Many projects started in western provinces do not have central government approval, with officials and investors moving ahead of protocol in hopes of capitalising on the country's shortfall of electricity, the report said.
China estimates that illegal plants generate some 80 million kilowatts of power, accounting for nearly one fifth of the countrys total generating capacity of 440 million kilowatts this year, it said.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.