Beijing: Chinese power companies began construction of a new nuclear plant on 18 August, the first in the country’s northeast, a state news agency reported.
The first of six units at the Hongyanhe plant in Dalian, a port in Liaoning province, is set to start operations in 2012, with the rest coming on line by 2014, the Xinhua News Agency said. The plant will cost a total of $ 6.5 billion.
The plant is to be based on Chinese-developed technology, according to earlier reports.
China’s government says it plans to build 31 new nuclear plants by 2020 as it tries to curb heavy reliance on oil and coal.
Equipment suppliers are looking to China to sustain sales at a time when few other countries plan new plants. But Beijing also is trying to develop its own technology.
China has four nuclear power plants in operation, all in the booming south and southeast.
The Dalian plant is being built by a consortium led by the state-owned Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, which operates nuclear plants in the southeastern province of Guangdong. The other investors include Liaoning power utilities.
Other nuclear plants in China are based on French, Russian and Canadian technology.
US-based Westinghouse Electric Company signed agreements in July to sell four nuclear power plants to China and hand over technology to make its newest reactor.
The deal is expected to make Westinghouse’s third-generation AP1000 reactors the basis of China’s future efforts to develop commercial nuclear power technology.