China’s cabinet approved two nuclear power projects with a total investment of 70 billion yuan ($10.2 billion), as part of the country’s policy to lower pollution levels and bolster the economy through infrastructure investment.
The approved projects were Hainan Changjiang nuclear power plant phase 2 and Zhejiang San’ao nuclear power plant phase 1. The Hainan plant will be jointly constructed by state-owned China National Nuclear Corp. and China Huaneng Group Co. Ltd.
The Zhejiang plant will be the first nuclear power project involving private capital. Chinese auto maker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group’s investment subsidiary will take a 2% stake in the plant.
Hainan Changjiang nuclear power plant phase 2 will come online in 2026, while the Zhejiang San’ao nuclear power plant phase 1 will begin operations by 2025.
The two new nuclear power plants will form part of the country’s policy to cut pollution levels and boost its economy.
China’s cabinet made the decision in a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
In the meeting, the cabinet announced it would focus on maintaining a flexible monetary policy to support its economy affected by the pandemic.
In an official statement, the cabinet said: “Pushing forward the construction of nuclear power projects actively and steadily is an important measure to expand effective investment, enhance energy support, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Last year, China launched three new nuclear power plants in the provinces of Shandong, Fujian and Guangdong, which marked the end of a moratorium on new projects.
China’s nuclear association said that six to eight nuclear reactors a year will be built in the country between 2020 and 2025. These will raise the country’s total capacity to 70GW, up 43.5% from May-end.
The association also said that the total installed nuclear capacity in China is expected to stand at 52GW by the end of this year.