Zhang Shanming, President of China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), attended the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in the Great Hall of the People on Sept 3.
The summit, themed "China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation", is expected to set a new path for a higher level of China-Africa cooperation.
National leaders from over 50 African countries, the chairman of the African Union Commission, the secretary general of the United Nations, and 27 international and African regional organizations attended the opening ceremony.
A Shared Dream, A Shared Future, a promotion video by China Global Television Network, broadcast at the ceremony, put CGN’s Husab Project, China’s largest entity investment project in Africa, in the limelight.
The world’s third-largest uranium mine, the Husab Project not only marks CGN’s quickened expansion in Africa, but also is a benchmark for Sino-African cooperation.
According to Zhang, the uranium mine is expected to produce 15 million tons of ore annually out of 140 million tons of overburden. Every year, its hydrometallurgical plant will process 15 million tons of ore and produce 6,500 tons of triuranium octaoxide products.
The mine has had constantly increasing output since it produced its first bucket of uranium in late 2016, for which Namibian President Hage Geingob wrote a congratulatory letter to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A delegation consisting of envoys from more than 20 African countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Congo, Ghana and Angola also investigated the Husab uranium mine on Oct 6, 2017.
Once operational in 2018, the mine will satisfy the natural uranium consumption of 30 gigawatt-level nuclear power units for nearly 30 years, offer 2,000 permanent jobs, and boost Namibia’s GDP and export value by about 6 and 20 percent, respectively.
Considering its social and economic effect, the Husab Project has become a glittering national calling card of Namibia. However, it is not the only landmark project advancing cooperation between China and Africa.
CGN European Energy Company acquired a 90 percent equity interest in the 44-MW Malicounda solar power project located near Dakar, Senegal’s capital city, on Nov 3, 2016. Dakar neighbors the earth’s equatorial region, so that with an abundance of sunlight resources the project’s total installed capacity reaches 100 MW.
This acquisition marks CGN’s first entrance into Africa’s solar power market and sets an example for EU-China cooperation in the development of African new energy.
West Africa is short on energy, but has great potential for renewable energy. It is expected that the capacity of newly installed clean energy will exceed 10 GW by 2020. Progress with the Malicounda project has paved the way for CGN to enter the clean energy market in Senegal and other West African countries.
In Sept 2015, CGN signed a nuclear power development memorandum of understanding with the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB). Relying on HPR1000 technology and its improved technology, the company will enhance cooperation with Kenya in nuclear power research and development, construction, operation, nuclear fuel supply, safety, security, waste management and decommissioning.
The two sides also inked a framework agreement on nuclear power training cooperation and a non-disclosure agreement in March 2017. The former requires CGN to provide paid training for Kenyan nuclear power personnel, enhance the country’s ability to train staff, and share its training information.
The latter stipulates the rights and obligations of both parties in sharing nuclear power development information, which is a prerequisite for them to conduct substantive technical and business cooperation.
Kenya plans to build four gigawatt-level nuclear power units over four phases by 2030.