The Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), located in Fangchenggang, within the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, is the first nuclear power project in Western China built to provide uninterrupted supply to the fast growing economic zone.
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“Phase I of the project involved the construction of two units of 1.08 gigawatts each, based on generation II pressurised water reactor technology. The equipment installation work for unit 2 is currently in progress.
“The fuel loading for unit 1 was completed in September 2015 and grid connection was achieved later that month. The unit started commercial operations in 2016. The two units are designed to operate for 40 years. Unit I has an output capacity of 24 gigawatts hours a day, which is sufficient to serve a medium-sized city in China,” an official pointed out.
An economic zone official who briefed the Cambodian media said nuclear power plants were needed to energise the numerous heavy industries located within the economic zones. They require large volumes of power and constant uninterrupted power supply.
Approximately 50 kilometres from the border of Vietnam, the NPP project involves the construction of six nuclear reactor units, with a combined capacity of 6GW.
The construction of units 1 and 2 (phase I), started in July and December 2010 respectively, whereas construction work for unit 3, which falls under phase II and incorporates a fourth unit, started in December 2015.
The NPP is being developed by Guangxi Fangchenggang Nuclear Power, a joint venture of China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and Guangxi Investment Group, in collaboration with Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company, a subsidiary of the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.
The official said adequate power supply and good connectivity to ports and railway lines has attracted investments from South Korea, the United States, Hong Kong, Italy and India. Home-grown Chinese heavy industries such as copper processing have also invested in the area.
Established in 2006, the Guangxi Beibu Gulf Economic Zone has four cities: Nanning, Beihai, Qinzhou, and the most active of all, Fangchenggang city, which covers an area of approximately 42,500 square kilometres.
The cities have a combined population of approximately 14 million and are home to a myriad of heavy industries including the nuclear power plant.
The official also briefed the Cambodian media on the development of the zone and said a decade of development brought remarkable achievements, including rapid growth, booming modern industries, infrastructure improvement and construction of large ports.
“Our city of Fangchenggang has become a leading force of Guangxi’s economic development and an engine of growth for China’s western area, and a shining example of developing a backwater area into a modern port complex and coastal border development.
“It is also a major pathway in the cooperation with Asean as it is the only port that connects with several Asean countries serving as a direct shipping route,” the official said.
“The overall Guangxi Beibu Gulf Economic Zone is strategically located in an area where the South China Economic Circle, the Pan Pear River Delta Economic Cooperation Zone and the China-Asean Economic Circle overlap, thus forming the perfect gateway to the Asean nation with which there is excellent connectivity,” the official pointed out.
The entire Beibu Gulf boasts almost 1,700 kilometres of coastline and is rich in marine, mining, tourism, water, agriculture and forestry resources, all ideal features for developing a modern port cluster and heavy industries.