Beijing is seeking greater energy cooperation with Moscow in Russia’s Arctic region, according to Ou Xiaoming, chief representative of China’s State Grid (the national power company.
“China and Russia are developing deep cooperation in the field of nuclear power and have expansive room for further growth. Russia has rich experience in the production and construction of advanced nuclear power units,” he said.
The official detailed that both sides have been working actively on the construction of the Tianwan and Xudabao nuclear power plants in China. He noted that Russia enjoys a great advantage when it comes to wind power in the Arctic.
Ou said: “China and Russia can work with each other to develop the wind power resources in the North Pole. Taking advantage of the State Grid’s technology on renewable energy storage and high voltage electricity transport, both sides can push forward the development of renewable energy to replace traditional fossil energy, which would carry great importance in Russia’s plan to optimize the global energy landscape.”
The State Grid executive added that China hopes to raise the contribution of non-fossil energy to the nation’s energy mix above 50 percent by 2050.
China considers itself a near-Arctic nation, with plans to conduct research, excavate resources, and develop a network of shipping routes throughout the region. It became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013.
Moscow and Beijing have been strengthening ties in the nuclear energy sector. Rosatom is building nuclear units for the Tianwan nuclear power plant, which is one of the biggest joint projects of economic cooperation. Agreement to work together on the Tianwan reaches back to 1992.The first two of its units, each with a capacity of 1,000MW, were launched in 2007. Unit 3 began operations in 2017, and the reactor at the latest, fourth unit was launched at minimum capacity in September of last year after the fuel loading was finished ahead of schedule.
As part of the biggest deal between the two countries, the construction of two Russian VVER-1200 units worth a total of $1.7 billion is planned at China’s Xudabao nuclear power plant.