Datang International Power Generation said 9 percent of its electricity generating capacity will come from nuclear plants by 2015 as China promotes alternatives to coal and oil.
The utility is studying between six and eight sites for reactors in China and expects to complete its first nuclear power plant by 2012, Zhang Yi, vice chairman of the second-biggest Hong Kong-listed Chinese electricity producer, told reporters Tuesday.
China needs to add two reactors a year to reach a target of generating 4 percent of its power from nuclear energy by 2020 from about 2.3 percent now. The government wants to reduce reliance on coal, which is burned to produce two-thirds of the country's electricity, as part of efforts to curb pollution.
Datang will spend as much as 70 billion yuan, or $9.1 billion, by 2010 adding 18.4 million kilowatts of generating capacity by the end of the decade, Zhang said.
The utility will increase output by 20 percent this year, its chairman, Zhai Ruoyu, said Tuesday.
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The company expects to operate its plants for 5,760 hours this year, almost unchanged from the 5,756 hours in 2006, the company's executive director, Yang Hongming, said.
Datang said Monday it will buy a stake in a rival for 1.82 billion yuan, or $235 million, to buy 55 percent of Jinzhou East Power to boost capacity. Buying the stake in Jinzhou East Power, which supplies electricity in China's northeast, will raise Beijing-based Datang's generation capacity by about 6.2 percent. Jinzhou East Power operates six 200 megawatt generators.
China will increase electricity generation capacity by 95 gigawatts to 720 gigawatts by the end of 2007, the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said Feb. 7. The nation's power demand will rise between 11 percent and 12.5 percent this year, State Grid Corp. of China, the larger of the nation's two power distributors, said Jan. 24.