• China is set to enter the global nuclear industry as a major player and nuclear technology supplier for several countries.

China is set to enter the global nuclear industry as a major player and nuclear technology supplier for several countries. (Photo : REUTERS)

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and CEZ Group have signed a Memorandum of Agreement on March 30, Wednesday, that will see a long-term collaboration between the two companies to develop nuclear energy.

The MOU includes "information and experience exchange on the procurement, construction, operation and maintenance, training, overhaul and transformation of nuclear power plants, as well as exploring potential joint investment opportunities and collaboration in the field of renewable energies such as wind and solar."

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China's aggressive venture into nuclear energy has been evident in its recent partnerships with global energy players. Its Westinghouse-based Generation-III CAP 1400 system, for example, is set to roll out in Turkey and South Africa this year.

"Countries choose to cooperate with China because they see the opportunities to promote their economic development," the Global Times reported.

There is also an apparent advantage in China against its foreign rivals.

"From a global level, China's nuclear power units, supported by strong manufacturing capability, prove to be the most cost-effective industry compared with their counterparts in other countries," said the news site.

The country's expertise in fuel cycle also adds to its lead.

"Only a few countries have mastered the complete fuel cycle, and that accomplishment will give China an edge as a nuclear power exporter," said Liu Yongde, secretary-general of China Atomic Energy Authority, in a China Daily report.

In an official statement, CGN chairman He Yu said that their company is "very keen to forge partnerships with leading businesses like CEZ in the Czech Republic to support the country's national new energy strategy."

He added: We look forward to working with local players across the industry supply chain to promote the application of Hualong 1 Technology to achieve mutual success while contributing to the local economy."

Aside from the CEZ Group agreement, CGN also inked an MOU with Skoda Praha, Czech Power Industry Alliance, and China Energy Company Limited. The deal aims to facilitate several energy-related initiatives and upgrades that will boost the involved parties' presence in other key markets.