BEIJING, Oct 22 (Reuters) - China's top two nuclear power companies planned to combine their technologies in the country's flagship third-generation reactor Hualong 1 to avoid competing for business abroad, state media reported.
Beijing is embarking on an ambitious plan to export its locally developed technology as well as its equipment manufacturing capacity potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
In an interview on Wednesday with State Radio, Yu Peigen, CNNC's deputy general manager said, "the government is planning to set up a Hualong company, to combine our technologies (with that of CGN), and let this Hualong firm to develop overseas market."
To avoid rivalry, a planned joint venture between China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) is likely to be formed by end of the year, Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday, citing a source familiar with the situation.
CGN agreed on Wednesday to invest $9 billion in French utility giant EDF's Hinkley Point nuclear project, Britain's first new nuclear plant in a generation.
As part of the agreement, EDF will help CGN gain a license to build its own nuclear reactor, Hualong, in another site in Britain, whose nuclear regulatory regime is seen as one of the most stringent in the world.
CNNC started in May building the first Hualong 1 reactor in Fujian on the southeast coast.
China has already lined up two preliminary deals to supply the reactor to Pakistan and Argentina, CNNC executives have said.
The export of one Hualong 1 reactor would bring in about 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) in revenue, he said, but the figure could rise to 100 billion yuan including fuel supplies and technical support. (Reporting by Chen Aizhu in Beijing; Editing by Anand Basu)