POWER UTILITY | Staff Reporter, China

China gives approval for merger between two state-owned nuclear firms

A US$100b nuclear giant will be formed if this pushes through.

According to Enerdata, the Chinese State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) has given green light for the merger between the nuclear power plant developer and operator China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) and the nuclear power-plant builder China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Corp. (CNECC). The merger will create a nuclear giant with combined assets worth nearly US$100bn and an headcount over 140,000 people. CNECC will become a subsidiary company of CNNC.

Over the past two years, the Chinese government has been systematically strengthening its state-owned companies through mergers to increase their size and efficiency. The same strategy was applied with the Shenhua-Guodian merger in 2017, aimed at creating the world's largest utility. China believes that vertically integrating the nuclear sector can help reduce costs, enable economies of scale and make the newly created company more competitive especially overseas.

CNNC has 17 nuclear units in operation and a total capacity of about 14 GW, and 9 nuclear power units under construction with installed capacity reaching 9 GW. Its main contender in China is CGNPC (China General Nuclear Power Corporation) with 17 units in operation totalling 18 GW, and a further 8 reactors under construction with a combined capacity of 10 GW. The Hualong One "third-generation" nuclear reactor design is developed under a JV between the two companies.

This article was originally published by Enerdata.

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