One of the country's top five power producers, China Power Investment Corp (CPIC), is expanding its business portfolio beyond conventional coal-fired plants to develop wind, oil and nuclear electricity.
The State-owned electricity generator announced it has inked a framework agreement with the local government in Northeast China's Jilin Province to jointly develop oil shale resources in the province.
Oil shale is sedimentary rock containing a high proportion of organic matter, kerogen, which can be converted to synthetic oil or gas by processing. One ton of oil shale can produce 38 litre of oil.
Jilin has 546 million tons of total proven oil shale reserves, and 317 million tons can be commercially exploitable, a Xinhua news report said.
The province began to tap the reserves two years ago, which will involve a total investment of 2.75 billion yuan (US$339 million) to convert the oil shales. The project includes facilities to produce power, heat and cement products.
Oil produced from the Jilin reserves will be used by CPIC to generate electricity, local media reported.
CPIC Director Liu Changqing did not disclose further details of the Jilin project yesterday, saying it is only a framework for further co-operations.
The company has also been trying to tap the renewable energy sources, cashing in on the new opportunities brought about by China's first renewable energy law, which will take effect next year.
"We are looking at new opportunities in the renewable energy sector, and that is our long-term strategy to balance our business portfolio," Liu said.
The Beijing-based power generator signed an agreement with Goldwind Science & Technology Co Ltd, China's largest wind electric power generator manufacturer based in Northwest China, on equipment supply for 3 billion yuan (US$369.9 million) worth of wind power plant construction projects in East and Northwest China.
The accord covers a 200-MW (megawatt) wind power generating project in Dafeng, East China's Jiangsu Province, and another project with a capacity of 100-MW in Anxi, Northwest China's Gansu Province. They are scheduled to start construction next year, with commercial operation likely to start in 2008.
Industry insiders said the Dafeng project is now the country's largest wind power generating plant, with an annual yielding capacity of 500 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.
China by the end of this year will have wind power generation facilities with a capacity of 1,000-MW. The country plans to increase the figure to 30,000-MW by 2020.
The company has also reached agreements with the country's two biggest nuclear reactor builders, China National Nuclear Corp and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, to start building four reactors in Liaoning and Shandong next year, a company official said.
By the end of last year, State-owned CPIC had power generation facilities with a total capacity of 27,959 MW. Coal-fired plants accounted for 66.97 per cent, hydro plants 28.2 per cent and the remaining 4.83 per cent consisted of nuclear plants.
Source: China Daily