China starts building Fujian nuclear power plant

BEIJING Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:18pm EST

BEIJING Feb 18 (Reuters) - China on Monday started building the first nuclear power plant in southeastern Fujian province, the official People's Daily reported, quoting the Fujian Provincial Development and Reform Commission.

The first phase of the Ningde plant will have four reactors with 1 gigawatt (GW) of generating capacity each, and cost 51.2 billion yuan, the largest energy investment project in the province, the newspaper said.

Investors of the plant include Guangdong Nuclear Power Investment Co, Datang International Power Generation Co Ltd (0991.HK)(601991.SS) and Fujian Coal Group, it said, without detailing the stake each holds.

The first reactor is expected to come on line in 2012 and the rest will be put into operation one by one in the following three years. They will adopt the improved second generation of nuclear power technologies.

The plant, 143 km north of Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian, will be China's first nuclear station on an island, the report added.

China has only 6 nuclear power plants with a total of 9 GW of generating capacity dispersed in coastal Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. It plans to expand nuclear capacity to 40 GW by 2020, or 4 percent of the country's total generating capacity.

The planned expansion would cost around 450 billion yuan.

($1=7.1657 yuan)

(Reporting by Jim Bai; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)