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CGN’s overseas assets prosper with B&R Initiative


CGN, China’s largest and the world’s third largest nuclear power enterprise, has operated its business in more than 20 countries. Its overseas assets and revenue have reached 16 and 20 percent of the total respectively under the Belt & Road Initiative. 

Chinese president Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in his visit to Central Asia and Southeast Asia in 2013. The BeIt & Road Initiative upholds the spirit of opening-up and mutually beneficial cooperation, and echoes the trend of world multipolarization, economic globalization, cultural diversity, and societal informatization. It has an ever-growing international influence, bringing cooperation between countries along the route to a wider scope and higher level.

By taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the Belt & Road Initiative, CGN has made major breakthroughs in the fields of nuclear power, nuclear fuel, and new energy. It has seen its nuclear power plant digital I&C system and non-dynamic nuclear technology go global.

Nuclear power, one of China’s calling cards on par with high-speed railway trains, represents the core competitiveness of the country. A suite of agreements were signed by CGN, Electricité de France, and the British government on Sept 29, 2016, a historic breakthrough in China’s nuclear power’s global expansion.

The Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C, and Bradwell B projects in Britain were hailed as flagship projects inaugurating the golden age of Sino-British cooperation by Xi. The Bradwell B project, with CGN as its controlling shareholder, uses China’s Generation-III nuclear technology, HPR1000.

Two evolutionary power reactors (EPR) will be built under the Hinkley Point C project. The construction site covers an area the size of 245 football fields, the largest in Europe by far. There are 5,600 workers at the site every day during the peak period. The project will use a total of 3 million tons of concrete, 75 times the amount that was used in the UK’s Millennium Stadium, and 230,000 tons of rebar, the same amount used to build a railway from London to Rome.

Upon completion, the Hinkley Point C project will satisfy 7 percent of electricity demand in Britain, reduce 9 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, and hire about 900 employees. A total of 25,000 jobs will be created during the construction, which will play a significant role in French and British employment, talent cultivation, and nuclear industrial chain formation.

The industrial chain is an essential part of Belt & Road cooperation. Multiple memorandums of understanding in civil engineering, installation, digital I&C, and radiation monitoring have been signed between Chinese and Britain enterprises.

In addition to the British projects, CGN has inked memorandums of understanding and letters of intent with enterprises and government departments from more than 20 countries around the world. It also plans to tap into the Central and Eastern European, Southeast Asian, West Asian, and African markets in the future.

Nuclear fuel is the foundation for nuclear power development. CGN has made outstanding achievements in the development of uranium resources overseas. It has teamed up with Kazatomprom to explore the Irkol and Semizbai uranium deposits in Kazakhstan. Their joint venture for nuclear fuel assemblies commenced construction in 2016 and is expected to come into operation in late 2020. As a signature project in clean energy cooperation between the two countries, it will elevate Kazakhstan’s nuclear fuel industry to the upstream of the industry.

The Husab project in Namibia is China’s largest entity investment project in Africa. It can provide 6,000 jobs during its construction period and 1,600 after it begins operation. It will help Namibia become the world’s second largest natural uranium producer and exporter, while increasing their export value by 20 percent and GDP by 5 percent.

In the Husab Project, CGN has taken localization as the path to realizing internationalization. It invested more than 200 million yuan ($29.68 million) in local staff training to propel the sustainable development of the company. The number of Chinese personnel was less than 15 percent of the total during the construction period, and the proportion of local staff has now reached 95 percent.

New energy, including wind power, solar power, hydroelectric power, gas power, combined heat and power, biomass energy, and fuel cell, is an important business sector of CGN’s. To date, the company’s clean energy projects have spread across Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania, North America, and South America. As of March, the installed capacity of CGN-held projects under construction or in operation had reached 13.91 GW.

CGN acquired the Edra projects in November 2015 to become the largest independent power producer in Egypt and Bangladesh, the second largest independent power producer in Malaysia, and the one of the largest Chinese energy company in terms of overseas installed capacity.   

Unit 1 of the 2.24-GW Malacca gas power generation project, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, saw its major part complete concrete pouring in December 2018. The 50MWac solar power station in Kedah was CGN’s first overseas large photovoltaic greenfield project that connected to the grid.

CGN established the CGN European Energy Company in June 2014. Over the past few years, the subsidiary has become the fifth largest clean energy operator in France. It has acquired nearly 1.6 GW of wind power and solar power assets in Britain, France, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden through mergers, acquisitions, and independent development.

Currently, CGN owns the largest onshore wind farm in Belgium, Esperance, and won the bid for the first offshore floating wind power project in Europe, Groix. In July 2018, it acquired a 75 percent stake of the Swedish North Pole wind power project, the largest single onshore wind farm in Europe, which can satisfy the electricity demands of 400,000 households. In addition, it is also the largest Chinese investor in Ireland.

On March 29, the Brenig onshore wind power project in Wales, the first overseas wind power project independently developed by CGN, was put into commercial operation. With a total installed capacity of 37,600 kilowatts, it can provide electricity for 39,000 households in the UK annually and boost the local economy.

CGN also has made great strides in going global with its non-dynamic nuclear technology. CGN Nuclear Technology Development Co Ltd was China’s first A-share listed enterprise that engages in non-dynamic nuclear technology and is China’s largest manufacturer of industrial electron accelerators. It not only develops the core technology of key parts, but also realizes automated production.

The company has successfully developed the SSRC accelerator and exported it to be applied in major Brazilian sci-tech projects. Its electron irradiation accelerator has entered nearly 10 counties including the US, India, Thailand, South Korea, Pakistan, Brazil, and Indonesia.

CGN Nuclear Technology Development will cooperate with AERIAL in the application of nuclear technology in fruit preservation, food irradiation, and dose detection under the memorandum of understanding signed on April 3 during the 19th International Meeting on Radiation Processing in Strasbourg.

As for modified polymers, CGN Nuclear Technology Development has already operated business in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, and Russia, with plans to enter Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine.

CGN will make full use of its experience accumulated in the nuclear power, new energy, and environmental protection industries over the past 30 years and actively participate in the clean energy development and environmental protection in countries along the Belt & Road Initiative with the goal of building a community with a shared future for humanity.