Laying the Foundations for a Greener Energy Future

Jun 27, 2018 10:35 AM ET
Newsletter

On a viewing platform high above the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station, CLP Chairman Sir Michael Kadoorie looked out on a spectacular panoramic view of the gigantic complex sprawling below him.

Armies of construction workers busily installed the last two generating units of the six-unit plant, which will throw out 6,516MW of power when the station goes into full operation next year, providing clean energy across Mainland China’s Guangdong province.

The visit was Sir Michael’s first to Yangjiang after CLP completed its investment in the project last year – the company’s second foray into nuclear power after the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station. The investment underscores CLP’s confidence in the key role nuclear power plays in China’s decarbonisation journey and its transition to a low-carbon economy.

Projects like Yangjiang are unfolding across Mainland China. The country now has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation and around 20 more under construction.

While visiting the station in May 2018, Sir Michael and other senior CLP executives observed how a 2.5-kilometer long breakwater along the edge of the station will serve as a first line of defence in the event of disasters like tsunamis. Later, Sir Michael put on a safety outfit and visited one of the control rooms where he listened attentively to engineers explaining how the advanced nuclear reactor housed next door in a huge containment dome generates pollution-free electricity.

In his father’s footsteps

Sir Michael is no stranger to nuclear power stations and their technology. In 1985, he accompanied his father, Lord Kadoorie, to Beijing for the signing of the joint venture agreement for Daya Bay, which pioneered the use of nuclear power for commercial use in Mainland China. Today, the power station meets around a quarter of Hong Kong’s energy demand, making a significant contribution to the city’s cleaner air and emissions reduction efforts.

Lord Kadoorie’s visionary initiative at Daya Bay was Mainland China’s first large-scale commercial nuclear power project and its biggest single foreign investment project at the time. The joint venture also marked the start of the decades-long partnership between CLP and CGN from Daya Bay to Yangjiang.

That partnership was celebrated during Sir Michael’s visit to Yangjiang, where he and his delegation were hosted by Chairman of China General Nuclear Power Corporation Mr He Yu and where the two sides renewed the Strategic Partnership Agreement which was first forged in 2007.

A greener future

Sir Michael says: “Standing here in Yangjiang brings back memories of 1985 when I accompanied my late father to Beijing to witness the signing of the Daya Bay joint venture agreement. Our participation in Yangjiang reflects strongly on the commitment of my family to this partnership, which enables us to explore further opportunities and promote closer ties between Hong Kong and Mainland China.”

As he looked out over the bustling new power plant and the South China Sea, sparkling in the brilliant May sunshine, Sir Michael could reflect on a project that symbolises not only a pioneering partnership stretching back 30 years but also hopes of a brighter, greener future for generations to come.

To learn more about CLP’s connection with society, please check out the latest issue of CLP.CONNECT.