China National Nuclear Corp., the country’s second-biggest atomic power operator, received approval from country’s stock market regulator to sell shares in Shanghai as the nation pushes to boost nuclear generation and cut pollution.
The Beijing-based company was asked to clarify some issues including its investment in an inland nuclear plant in Hunan province that hasn’t received the central government approval to start construction, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said on its website, without giving a date. CNNC plans to issue 3.65 billion new shares to raise about 16.3 billion yuan ($2.6 billion), it said earlier.
CNNC would be the second Chinese nuclear company to list after CGN Power Co., China’s biggest nuclear power operator. The listings are an indication of China’s ambition to install as much as 58 gigawatts of nuclear power by the end of this decade and start construction of an additional 30 gigawatts by 2020. CGN listed in Hong Kong in December.
China approved construction of its first nuclear power project in February after the Fukushima disaster in Japan brought the program to a standstill. The country plans to build five projects with more than 5 gigawatts of capacity this year, and will probably keep that pace of construction through next year, China Nuclear Society official Shen Lixin said in January in Beijing. Atomic energy now accounts for just 2 percent of the country’s total power generation, the International Energy Agency estimates.
“CNNC will be a very popular stock in Shanghai as it provides both short-term steady income from running nuclear projects and long-term growth from export of nuclear technology,” said Karl Liu, a Hong Kong-based analyst at BOC International Holdings Ltd.
CNNC plans to use the proceeds from the sale to build 10 reactors and for working capital needs, according to its statement on April 30.
Asia, primarily China, represents the future for nuclear energy, as the region has 47 reactors under construction and a further 142 forecast by 2030, the World Nuclear Association said in January.
Asian investment in nuclear projects could reach $781 billion during the period, the WNA said. China has 22 reactors in operation and another 26 under construction.