The Chinese government has approved a merger aimed at increasing the country’s capability as an exporter of nuclear power technology.
Reuters reports that China Power Investment Corp is merging with the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp in a move that will create a combined assets business of over $96bn.
The Chinese power producer currently controls about a tenth of China’s nuclear power market, while the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp was formed in 2007 to handle nuclear technology transferred from US-based Westinghouse Electric.
Beijing intends for the consolidation to better facilitate the export of nuclear reactors.
China, which now primarily provides financing and construction services to nuclear power projects overseas, is expected by some experts to start exporting reactors after 2020 and become a major exporter by 2030 when it has fully digested foreign technology and developed its domestic industry.
Similar mergers are being contemplated for China National Nuclear Corporation and China General Nuclear, which could lead to the development of an export market for their joint reactor design, the Hualong I model.
With 22 reactors in operation, and a further 26 under construction, China is the world’s largest nuclear power market. It aims for an installed nuclear power capacity of 58 GW by 2020 from the current 18 GW, under a programme estimated to cost $100bn.
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