China MEP pushing for more outside funds

China`s Ministry of Electric Power (MEP) has established China Power International to speed power construction through foreign loans and investment. A fully-funded subsidiary, China Power International Company Ltd., is registered in Hong Kong.

During a recent Hong Kong reception, Ji Fu, China Electricity Council (CEC) vice president, said that up to March 1995, total installed capacity had reached 200 GW, making China the fourth largest power producing country. To speed development, China has had to use foreign investment, with international power development funds reaching (US)$14.5 billion by the end of 1994.

Yan Qin, CEC senior advisor, said foreign investment in power construction will increase from 11 percent to 20 percent, amounting to (US)$20 billion in the coming five years. China plans to reach 300 GW by 2000, with a fuel mix of 65.9 GW hydroelectric, 233.1-GW thermal power, 2.1-GW nuclear power, and approximately 1-GW other renewables. Projected generating capacity will top 1,400 TWh.

Besides direct investment in power plant construction, Yan Qin said China is seeking foreign technical cooperation on large power networks, high voltage, automation control, dispatch communication, relay protection, extra-high voltage and long distance power transmission technology, dc transmission, computerized automation control, and environmental protection technology.

There are 33 projects to replace small machines that are generating 6,500 MW to be kicked off in 1996, according to the Ministry of Power. Of these, 11 projects to generate 2,400 MW will be completed in 1996, with the remaining 22 stretching into next year.

Another 10,700 MW of large- and medium-size generators are expected to be installed during preparations to construct another 20,000 MW in the next few years. Another 3,000 MW of small generators are to be installed in 1996. Despite all the ongoing generation construction, shortages may worsen, especially in the eastern region. The most serious power shortages exist in the eastern and northwestern regions.

Transmission network construction will be increased in the next five years, said Shi Dazhen, Power Industry Minister, while speaking at a recent conference in Beijing. Funding for major grids of 500 kV or more will come primarily from the state government.