Winds of change

State-owned nu­clear gi­ant aims to di­ver­sify be­yond its tra­di­tional sec­tor to off­shore

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LYUCHANG lvchang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

State-owned nu­clear power gi­ant CGN is get­ting ready to di­ver­sify by tap­ping the mighty ocean winds.

China Gen­eral Nu­clear Power Corp said on Thurs­day its first off­shore wind power project is in the fi­nal stages of go­ing on­line — as it also un­veiled its am­bi­tion to di­ver­sify to other busi­nesses be­yond nu­clear power.

Lo­cated about 25 kilo­me­ters from the coast of the eastern part of Rudong in Nan­tong, Jiangsu prov­ince, the off­shore wind project has 38 units with a com­bined ca­pac­ity of 152 megawatts.

Chen Sui, chair­man of CGN New En­ergy Hold­ings Co Ltd, said the project is ex­pected to gen­er­ate 400 mil­lion kWh per year when con­nected to the grid at the end of this year.

“The suc­cess of the project means that we have de­vel­oped our own off­shore wind project tech­nolo­gies fol­low­ing the de­vel­op­ment of those in Ger­many and the United King­dom,” he said, adding the project meets the “dou­ble-10” stan­dard, which re­quires off­shore wind tur­bines to be in­stalled in ar­eas at least 10 kilo­me­ters off­shore and at a wa­ter depth of at least 10 me­ters.

CGN’s Rudong project got fi­nal ap­proval from the State Oceanic Ad­min­is­tra­tion in April 2015.

The lat­est move came af­ter the con­sor­tium — led by CGN’s unit in Europe and the French new-en­ergy firm Eolfi — won a ten­der in July for a float­ing wind farm in the sea off the is­land of Groix in the At­lantic coast of France.

The State-owned nu­clear com­pany said that the deal en­ables it to gain off­shore wind tech­nol­ogy, which can be ap­plied in al­most 70 per­cent of the global off­shore wind re­sources.

CGN, the coun­try’s big­gest nu­clear power plant op­er­a­tor which started to de­velop wind power busi­ness in 2006, has a to­tal in­stalled wind power ca­pac­ity in op­er­a­tion of 8.9 gi­gawatts.

CGN is look­ing be­yond its core busi­ness and plans to di­ver­sify into wind, so­lar and other re­new­ables, be­cause it will im­prove its over­all com­pet­i­tive­ness both at home and abroad, said Lu Jiny­ong, a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness and Eco­nomics in Bei­jing.

“As many coun­tries in Europe are now hav­ing sec­ond thoughts about nu­clear power, which was once their only choice to gen­er­ate power, nu­clear com­pa­nies have to di­ver­sify their busi­nesses and plan ahead,” he said.

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