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China Reform Monitor - No. 1231

China to build 2 new nuclear reactors for Argentina;
Beijing eyes major expansion of wind power

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
July 20, 2016


June 20:

China is on pace to generate more than a quarter of its electricity from wind power by 2030, according to a 
study in the journal Nature Energy. Building windfarms close to "load centers" where electricity can be easily transferred and used would make more sense than concentrating them in wind-rich but geographically isolated areas. As of last year China's 145GW of installed wind capacity eclipsed both Europe and the U.S. and within 14 years more new generating capacity – mostly clean energy – will come online in China than currently exists in the entire U.S, The Guardian reports. "China is now the world's wind energy leader by a fairly large margin. With more extensive reforms leading China to transition to spot markets and allowing electricity providers to reflect the marginal costs of wind generation, China's clean energy potential could be further increased," Valerie Karplus, the study's co-author, told The Guardian.

[Editor's Note: Despite massive investments in wind power, China wastes 40% of the wind power it generates due to an outdated transmission system hooked on predictable coal energy flows. Tapping into China's abundant wind resources will require modernizing the power system and tackling powerful coal interests.] 

June 25:

China will send its second orbiting space lab, Tiangong-2, into space in mid-September then send two astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft to dock with Tiangong-2 in mid-October. The Tiangong-2 and Shenzhou-11 will be carried by the Long March-2F carrier rocket. In April 2017, the country's first cargo spaceship, Tianzhou-1, will be launched by the Long March-7. The latter was successfully tested this month and is expected to become the main carrier for space launches, the official PLA Daily reports. The Long March-7, which is over a hundred meters in length and nearly 10 meters in diameter, will carry manned lunar missions until 2031, Space Daily reports.

June 27:

Customs agents and police in Shenzhen, Guangdong have announced that a joint operation with counterparts in the United States has led to the arrest of three members of an international drug gang, and the seizure of 24.36 kg of ketamine. Two gang members were arrested separately in Huizhou, Guangdong in February and April, and in August and September 2015, Shenzhen customs intercepted two U.S. bound packages containing 2.9 kg and 5.92 kg of ketamine, respectively. Soon after, another ketamine package bound for the same destination was seized by Hong Kong customs. Chinese officials then contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement who seized the American-based Chinese suspect in October, 
the official PLA Daily reports.

July 1:

Chinese banks will finance the construction of two new nuclear power reactors in Argentina, according to a new MoU. The MoU affirmed a prior agreement made in November under the previous president Cristina Fernandez for Argentina's fourth and fifth nuclear power plants. The first is a Candu pressurized heavy water reactor at Atucham, which will begin construction early next year, and the second is a pressurized water reactor at an unspecified site to be built by 2019. The projects are worth $15 billion and China will contribute 85% of the required financing, World Nuclear Newsreports. China National Nuclear Corp. general manager Qian Zhimin said: "China and Argentina, though a world apart, are in close nuclear cooperation. The two countries share a tradition of friendship and both governments also attached much significance to nuclear cooperation."

July 2:

CPFL Energia SA, Brazil's largest power distributor, has announced that the world's largest utility, China's State Grid International Development Ltd, will buy a controlling stake in the company for $1.8 billion. Camargo Correa SA, a privately-held Brazilian engineering, real estate, textile and shipbuilding company, is selling a 23% stake to State Grid. Other shareholders could outbid State Grid or sell their stakes to the Chinese company on equal terms, which could increase the size of the deal. State Grid has said that it plans to expand in Brazil beyond the power transmission assets it already manages. CPFL has a large portfolio of power generation installations besides its power distribution network covering four Brazilian states. The deal's announcement came the same day as China's Three Gorges Corp announced its takeover of two of Brazil's largest hydroelectric dams, 
Reuters reports.

[Editor's Note: Camargo Correa is one of the main targets in a large corruption investigation on state-controlled oil company Petrobras. The investigation has impacted the company operations and raised questions about its ability to pay debts. Camargo has tried to sell assets to improve its cash situation.]


Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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