Chinese nuclear enterprises put $2.6 billion into Xinjiang energy
Several well-known companies in China's nuclear power sector gathered recently in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to sign a raft of large-scale energy project contracts. These included China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corporation (CGNPC) and the China Nuclear Engineering Group.
CNNC is reported to have signed a total of 15 billion yuan (USD2.3 billion) worth of projects, including the construction of a coal mine, a coal-fired electricity project in Yili with two 1-GW units, and the first stage of a 20-MW wind power project in Hami.
CGNPC also contracted 2.4 billion yuan (USD376 million) worth of wind power and photovoltaic electricity projects with Xinjiang as part of the implementation of its clean energy strategy. The three wind power projects are located in Dabancheng and Tuokexun, near Urumqi City and Altay in the north of the Xinjiang autonomous region. The annual energy output of each will be 110 million kwh.
Reports of a study into the feasibility of building nuclear power plants in Xinjiang have, however, been downplayed. Lin Boqiang, a nuclear expert at the Energy Economic Research Center of Xiamen University told the Global Times that it would be "unnecessary" as local demand for electricity was well met. "The transportation would also be costly due to its remoteness if nuclear power plants were built there," he said.