China to sell off-the-shelf floating nuclear desalination units

Chinese state-owned China National Nuclear Power (CNNP) has formed a new joint venture company to build floating nuclear power and seawater desalination plants.

The business will focus on maritime nuclear power research, development, construction, operations and management; and on selling power and desalinated water. It will be registered in Shanghai with capital of $150 million.

The floating plants can be mass produced in shipyards more cheaply than constructing nuclear power plants on land, which requires bespoke engineering design. The new enterprise is aiming to produce 20 such plants initially.

The expectation is that the company will export the plants to countries with high power and water demand and scarce land resources, such as Bangladesh, as well as those participating in the One Belt, One Road economic initiative that aims to link Eurasian and Indo-Asia Pacific markets.

The joint venture is a collaboration between CNNP and Zhejiang Zheneng Electric Power, Shanghai Guosheng Group, Jiangnan Shipyard, and Shanghai Electric.