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China Daily: CGN signs Kenya nuclear training, technology support agreement

2017-03-24

China General Nuclear Power Group is one step closer to exporting its Hualong One reactor design to Kenya, after having signed an agreement with the Kenyan government on nuclear expertise and talent training.

CGN, China's largest and the fifth-biggest nuclear operator in the world, had already signed a framework agreement regarding nuclear power training cooperation with Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board.

It has committed to providing Kenya with staff training, as well as comprehensive cooperation in power development and capacity building in the country, based on the third-generation Hualong One reactor.

Joseph Jacobelli, a senior analyst of Asian utilities and infrastructure at Bloomberg Intelligence, said the partnership plays a significant role in the realization of Kenya's nuclear power program, as well as China's nuclear technology exports.

He said the sector plays an important role in China's advanced manufacturing exports, and the deal will also help nuclear companies better export their technology to the global market.

"The company's bid is in accordance with Chinese power companies' trend in investing overseas," he said.

"With government support for overseas expansion, including beneficial terms in getting financing from key financial institutions, many are encouraged to acquire power assets or export their technology and expertise overseas."

China's investment in clean energy will also help reduce pollution, he added.

The cooperation will help expand the knowledge of overseas markets, find new markets for Chinese know-how and come up with new earnings sources, Jacobelli said.

Kenya's development blueprint, known as Vision 2030, plans to achieve economic, social and political goals under a strategy to establish the country as a "newly industrializing middle-income country" by 2030. By that time, Kenya plans to have an installed nuclear capacity of 4 gigawatts, generating about 19 percent of Kenya's energy. This would mean nuclear power would be a key component of energy in the country.

The United Kingdom government has started the Generic Design Assessment of CGN's Hualong One reactor, which will be used in a nuclear power plant at Bradwell in southeastern England. Insiders said the chances are high that the Hualong One reactor will pass the UK's approval.

"CGN has rich experience building nuclear power facilities in the country and there is a high chance that the parameters are met," Jacobelli said.