China has decided to go on full scale with its nuclear power programme in anticipation of a massive energy requirement from a growing and urbanizing population.
Natural gas containers burn at a facility following an earthquake in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo, Japan March 11, 2011.Explosion was heard at Japan's nuclear plant on Saturday, following melt-down.
On Tuesday, China National Nuclear Power Co. said it will conduct an initial public offering (IPO) in order to raise much needed funds to support its nuclear power projects and plans.
In a statement posted on the Web site of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the nuclear power company said the proceeds of the IPO are specifically earmarked to build and operate nuclear power projects worth $27.26 billion. However, it was not specified when the IPO will be held.
"Unless China National Nuclear prices its offering extremely high, investors will like it even though the overall market sentiment may not be ideal," analyst Patrick Dai said in Bloomberg News. "China National Nuclear will give the market something it has never seen."
Moreso, nuclear power plant operators will surely continue to benefit from "decades of steady profits" as utilization of nuclear power continue to rise, well after the nuclear power construction boom had ended, Dai noted.
The IPO plan had been approved by the ministry. It still requires, though, a separate endorsement from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and has also yet to be forwarded to the securities agency.
The five nuclear power projects will be built in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Hainan. The said projects have long been approved by China's National Development and Reform Commission between 2008 and 2010.
China National Nuclear Power Co.'s announcement comes after China had approved a nuclear power use safety framework that ultimately lifts a ban on allowing the construction and operation of new nuclear power plants. The ban came in effect immediately after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan which destroyed the country's Fukushima nuclear power plant.
China's Cabinet, on its website on May 31, said it accepted "in principle" a proposed plan on nuclear safety for the five years ending 2015 and long-term targets for 2020.
It was not stated however when the actual approval for new plants will restart.
Chinese authorities immediately conducted an inspection of the country's 13 working reactors following the Fukushima disaster. No problems were found.
The other 28 reactors under construction are also being inspected and monitored.
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