China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has made breakthroughs in nuclear power, nuclear fuel, new energy, digitalization of nuclear power plant (NPP), as well as non-power nuclear technology thanks to opportunities delivered by the Belt and Road Initiative.
CGN's senior vice president Tan Jiansheng made the remarks at the press conference on its implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing, May 9.
As China's largest and the world's fifth biggest nuclear operator, CGN is also a key player in the world’s clean energy industry, said Tan, adding that the revenue from its overseas businesses in more than 20 countries accounts for about 20 percent of its total.
According to Tan, the company has set eight records under the Belt and Road Initiative, such as China’s largest investment in the UK and Europe -- UK nuclear project, China’s biggest single investment project in Africa -- the Husab project, and become the largest foreign direct investor in Malaysia.
Nuclear power: construction of HPC begins
As a calling card of China, nuclear power is on par with the high-speed rail. CGN signed a package of agreements for the Hinkley Point C (HPC), Sizewell C (SZC) and Bradwell B (BRB) projects with the Electricite de France (EDF) and the UK government on Sept 29, 2016, making a historic breakthrough in the going-global of China’s nuclear power.
For the CGN-led BRB Project, it proposed to deploy China's homegrown third generation nuclear technology -- Hualong One (HPR1000).
After HPC is completed, it will provide 7 percent of the UK’s energy needs, delivering secure and affordable low-carbon electricity for 60 years, Tan noted.
It will hire about 900 employees and create about 25,000 employment opportunities during the project, he added.
In addition, the BRB Project will learn from the second phase of CGN’s Fangchenggang NPP.
The BRB Project is set to start construction in 2025, said Mao Qing, the chief technology officer at CGN responsible for HPR1000's assessment.
The UK government approved to start the General Design Assessment (GDA) process for the HPR1000 technology on Jan 10 this year.
Mao said CGN is advancing the work relating to GDA and the process is expected to take about five years.
CGN will finish the first phase of assessment for the first phase after submitting the preliminary safety report to the UK government by mid-November, Mao stated.
CGN has signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) and a letter of intention, covering the fields of civil engineering, installation, digitalized instrument control, instrumentation, and radiation monitoring, Mao noted.
Moreover, the company has signed a MoU with the University of Birmingham in UK, and cooperated with Tsinghua University under a personnel training agreement, which enables the British technicians to take a two-year postgraduate course in Tsinghua.
“The UK nuclear projects will take Chinese technologies, equipment, experiences, and services to the world, pushing forward the transformation from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Created in China’,” said Tan Jiansheng.
Tan also introduced CGN’s nuclear business updates in Romania, Czech Republic, Kenya, and Southeast Asia and said it will expand its business in Central and Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, West Asia, and Africa.
Uranium resources exploration: China-Kazakhstan nuclear fuel fabrication plant starts construction
CGN is mining uranium deposits with Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom in the south and north parts of the central Asian country, acquiring 49 percent of the share. And the jointly built nuclear fuel assembly plant began construction last December.
Tan Jiansheng called it a “landmark project” in clean energy sector between the two countries.
It will also bring China 40,000 metric tons of metallic uranium reserve.
According to Yu Zhiping, general manager of CGN’s uranium subsidiary -- CGN Uranium Resources Co said the company’s Husab Uranium Mine in Namibia has started production on Dec 31, 2016, and is expected to formally put into operation in the second half of this year.
It is China’s largest industrial investment project in Africa and will create about 6,000 jobs during the construction phase and 1,600 jobs during the production period.
The project will increase Namibia’s export and GDP by 20 percent and 5 percent respectively, and is expected to make the African country the world’s second largest producer and exporter of natural uranium.
In order to advance the project, CGN invited other five Chinese companies -- China State Construction Engineering Corporation, PowerChina, China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Corporation, Metallurgical Corporation of China and China North Industries Group Corporation to join the project, facilitating the domestic partners’ going global.
The company also offered a fund of about 200 million Namibian dollars ($14.88 million) to improve local employees’ skills. Yu said locals accounted for 95 percent of its total workers in 2017.
New energy: CGN wins new clean energy project in Malaysia
According to Tan, CGN completed an equity purchase deal with Malaysian energy company Edra Global Energy and bought 13 clean energy projects in Malaysia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates in November 2015.
The deal also enabled the state company to become the largest independent power producer in Egypt and Bangladesh, and the second largest in Malaysia.
Early in June 2014, the nuclear giant started its European subsidiary in France and with four years of development, CGN European Energy Company has grown into the seventh largest new energy operator in Europe, Tan said.
CGN has won the largest operating onshore wind farm Esperance project in Belgium. It also won the Groix project, which is the first tender for large-scale floating offshore wind power project in France and also in Europe, which marked a Chinese enterprise’s debut in offshore floating wind power sector.
CGN took over Irish renewable energy company Gaelectric’s Douvan wind power project last December. The deal is the biggest investment by a Chinese company in Ireland by far.
CGN’s new energy business covers 29 provinces and autonomous regions across China. The total installed capacity of CGN’s wind power from operating projects has amounted to over 10 GW, while solar power installed capacity reached 2 GW, so far.
CGN focuses on cutting-edge technologies going global
CGN Nuclear Technology Development Co (CGNNT, 000881.SZ), China’s first non-power nuclear technology applications company and the largest manufacturer of industrial electronic accelerators in China, exported a set of industrial electronic accelerator and an X ray irradiation system to Indonesia in March. It was the first industrial electronic accelerator equipped with X-ray conversion system in the Southeastern Asian country.
Last year, CGNNT became China’s first electron accelerator manufacturer to sell products to developed countries after exporting product to the US.
It has sold a total of 18 sets of accelerators to seven countries, including India, Thailand, South Korea, and Brazil.
China Techenergy Co, a subsidiary of CGN, released its first homegrown digital instrumentation and control (I&C) system -- Firmsys, which made China the world’s fourth country capable of supplying such system, following the US, France, and Japan.
According to Jiang Guojin, general manager of China Techenergy Co, FirmSys has already been used in the upgrades of several of China's operating plants and in the construction of new units. It is currently being installed at units 5 and 6 of the Yangjiang NPP, as well as units 5 and 6 of the Hongyanhe NPP. It has also been specified for use in the demonstration HPR1000 units at Fangchenggang units 3 and 4 and the Tianwan units 5 and 6. In addition, the system is also to be used in the demonstration project of high-temperature gas-cooled reactor at Shidaowan.
Jiang said the Firmsys has passed the reviews of Germany’s Institute for Safety Technology (ISTec) and TUV Rheinland, a German third-party testing and certification service provider, as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
China Techenergy Co has secured its first overseas project in Algeria and signed cooperation agreements of letters of intent with companies in South Korea and the UK.
In early 2017, the company was invited by Jordan Atomic Energy Commission and Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy company, Rosatom to participate in bidding for a VVER nuclear project.
Jiang said he looked forward to the Firmsys’ going global once HPR1000 passes GDA.