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« Uranium Conference in Adelaide | Main | Uranium Update 13 March 2008 »

The Australian’s view of China.

In the past few months, The Australian has travelled around China to find out what changes have been made and, in an article by Rowan Callick, we get an insight into China's progress in their quest for energy.

With the economy in overdrive and no end in sight China is turning its attention to the reduction of greenhouse gases as the eyes of the world are starting to focus on the Beijing Olympic Games, China's economy, pollution levels, its strategy for the future. With around 80% of China's energy being fuelled by coal, one of the dirtiest forms of energy production, China is increasingly turning to nuclear power to form a larger part of its energy needs going forward.

The State Electricity Regulatory Commissions Gu Jun-yuan, the commission's chief engineer, said
“that from 2001-2007, China had increased its power capacity by 1.5 times Japan's total, growing annually by 18.5 per cent. Some problems have been exposed in the course of this rapid development, for instance in pricing. We must rely on market based reform to solve these problems.”

We draw your attention to growing annually at 18.5% and already bigger then Japan! This article goes on to talk about the various power plants in operation from Hong Kong to the biomass project in Shandong province. But what you want to know about is uranium where this report says:

“Overall, China's plants source 70 per cent of their uranium domestically and import the rest from Russia, Europe and elsewhere.”

We have touched on construction time frames in the past as they have a direct impact on just when the the supply of uranium is required, this article says that:

The first two units at Daya Bay (nuclear power station close to Homg Kong) took six years and nine months to build, by US giant Bechtel, the second two, five years. China National Nuclear Corporation is building the two new units, half of whose components are also being made in China. A five year construction period and getting shorter by the day as the Chinese improve their construction techniques. The US, Britain and France ought to take note, as it looks to us that the days of spending ten years or so in construction, are rapidly coming to an end. Good news for uranium bugs!

Daya Bay 17 Mar 08
Daya Bay power plant

Also worth noting is that China Light and Power, which operates the three power facilities that The Australian visited, also operates in Australia as TRUenergy and has around 1.2 million electricity and gas customers. It owns Victoria's Yallourn power station along with the electricity retail business of Yallourn Energy. Throw in the trillion dollars or so that China has in reserve and it looks like acquisitions could soon be the order of the day, which at the current the price levels for uranium stocks, would be a steal.

Many thanks to Wayne for alerting us to this article.

Have a good one.

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