China has signed agreements with Sudan, its close ally in Africa to build 600-megawatt atomic reactor, the first such project in the African country, official media reported on Thursday.
Two framework deals have been signed by state-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) with Sudan on nuclear power development, including building a 600-megawatt atomic reactor, official media China Daily reported.
The agreements may involve a blueprint for nuclear power development in the next decade for Sudan and building the first nuclear power station in the country, the daily quoted a statement issued by the nuclear giant.
China already is having a long standing nuclear cooperation with Pakistan as it has built several nuclear power reactors and is currently building two 1100 mw reactors in Karachi.
The agreements with Sudan were signed on Monday during a three-day visit to Sudan by a Chinese delegation led by Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration and deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission.
Sun Qin, chairman of CNNC, said the company will cooperate with Sudan’s Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity through the agreements.
The company did not disclose the contract value or the type of nuclear technology to be used for the reactor.
But experts said there is a great opportunity for the homegrown reactor design Hualong One, a type of third-generation technology, to be used for the reactor.
“Hualong One is most likely to have been chosen for Sudan, said Chai Guohan, chief engineer at the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s Nuclear and Radiation Safety Centre.
“China is looking to popularise this nuclear technology at home and abroad,” Mr. Chai said.
With the world’s largest number of reactors under construction, China plans to develop this experience into nuclear exports, the report said.
Chinese nuclear companies are making huge inroads in global nuclear markets, including Britain and Argentina.
CNNC has clinched deals with Argentina to build two nuclear reactors, while CGN, another domestic energy giant, partnered with Electricite de France to build three reactors in Britain.
Sudan has faced power shortages in recent years and is seeking to build two 600-mw pressurised water reactors to meet the growing demand for electricity, with construction on the first one starting in 2021.
Sudanese Finance Minister Badr-Eddin Mahmoud said the agreements reviewed all energy issues facing the country and will provide solutions for these and for new projects.