UPDATE 1-China’s Shenhua in talks with CNNC, CGN on stakes in nuclear projects

(Adds comments by Shenhua president, details about Shenhua’s
renewable energy strategy)

China’s Shenhua Group is in
talks with leading Chinese nuclear developers on taking stakes
in domestic nuclear projects, as the country’s biggest coal
producer diversifies into cleaner forms of energy, Shenhua
President Zhang Yuzhuo said on Wednesday.

Shenhua Group, state-owned parent of Shanghai and Hong
Kong-listed China Shenhua Energy, has been cutting
coal production in a bid to shore up prices, which have plunged
as a result of declining demand and a huge domestic supply glut.

The nuclear companies Shenhua is in talks with include China
National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Power
Corp (CGN), Zhang said.

Shenhua Energy saw its net profit fall 56.9 percent in 2015.
It produced 280.9 million tonnes of coal over the year, down
8.4 percent on 2014, and expects output to fall a further 0.3
percent this year, it said in its results filing last week.

Zhang said the company was dealing with a transformation in
China’s energy structure in which coal use would decline. The
company has built 6.2 gigawatts of wind power capacity and 182
megawatts of solar power and is developing geothermal energy.

“Among big Chinese companies, when it comes to developing
clean and renewable energies, we are not lagging behind at all,”
he said.

“We are hoping that in 20 or 30 years, we can bring down the
costs of non-fossil fuel energies and at the same time raise the
scale of construction, and during this process, allow fossil
fuels and non-fossil fuels to be harmonised and provide mutual
support,” he added.

He said the company was also at the forefront of efforts to
make coal cleaner. It has installed low-emission technology at
all its 22 coal-fired power generators in the
Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, amounting to 10 gigawatts of
capacity, and had made progress on commercialising technologies
aimed at capturing climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions.

Zhang was speaking at a ceremony to mark 20 years of
cooperation between China and the International Energy Agency
(IEA).

“A few years ago we said China coal might peak, and I
believe it might now have peaked,” Fatih Birol, director of the
IEA, told Reuters.

Sun Longde, vice president of China’s top oil and gas
producer PetroChina, told the conference his company
was forecasting the country’s energy consumption would peak by
2035, adding the share of coal in China’s total energy mix would
eventually fall to around a third, from around two thirds now.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by David Holmes)

The article UPDATE 1-China's Shenhua in talks with CNNC, CGN on stakes in nuclear projects was originally published at Reuters - US Energy.