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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

China may bid for Jordan's $3.5 bln nuclear contract


Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:18am GMT

BEIJING, April 21 (Reuters) - China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) could join the bidding to build a nuclear power plant in Jordan worth $3.5 billion, Khaled Toukan, chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), said on Tuesday.

French nuclear energy producer Areva (CEPFi.PA: Quote), Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) (015760.KS: Quote), Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) and Russia's Atomstroyexport are already competing for the right to build the plant.

"Others, including CNNC, may join the bidding process, given there is still some time before the decision will be made," Toukan told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Beijing.

He said it might take three years to choose the contractor and a further four or five years to build the plant, which would have generating capacity of at least 1 gigawatt, perhaps more.

At 1 GW, the plant would cost $3.3-3.5 billion. It is expected to generate around one quarter of Jordan's electricity. The country has yet to choose a site for the reactor and a lack of water was complicating the issue, Toukan said.

Jordan has reasonably assured resources of about 70,000 metric tonnes of uranium oxide in the centre of the country.

A Jordanian joint venture with Areva is exploring one block which is expected to start production in 2012-2013, while a partnership with China's Sino (U) is in the early stage of exploring two blocks, he said.

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