(Adds details, comparison with coal-fired power prices) BEIJING, April 1 (Reuters) - China has set guaranteed minimum on-grid electricity tariffs for third-generation nuclear power stations, the state planner said on Monday, providing reference prices for other projects set to come on stream using the new technology. China is backing new advanced reactor technologies as it looks to increase nuclear power generation as a cheaper and cleaner option to coal-fired power. It is the first country to complete the construction of third-generation models like Westinghouse's AP1000 and the French EPR design, and is also promoting its home-grown third-generation Hualong One reactor design. The tariffs for electricity from third-generation nuclear projects in three provinces was set by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) at slightly below the cost of coal-fired power. The Taishan project in Guangdong province was set at 0.435 yuan ($0.0649) per kilowatt-hour (kWh), while prices for the Sanmen project in Zhejiang province and Haiyang project in Shandong province were set at 0.4203 yuan and 0.4151 yuan per kWh, respectively. China's total nuclear capacity stood at 46 gigawatts (GW) by the end of last year, below its target of at least 58 GW by end-2020, following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and delays to projects. However, the industry could build six to eight nuclear reactors a year if project approval processes return to normal as expected in the near future, the chairman of the state-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) told Reuters on Monday. Below is a table showing benchmark electricity prices in different regions. Prices are showed in yuan per kWh. Region Benchmark Minimum prices of 3rd coal-fired power Generation nuclear power prices Guangdong 0.453 0.435 Zhejiang 0.457 0.4203 Shandong 0.4525 0.4151 ($1 = 6.7058 yuan) (Reporting by Muyu Xu and David Stanway; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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