Energy & Resources

Company junket

Which Chinese firms accompanied Hu to the US?

The corporate team tagging along with Hu Jintao on his trip to the US features a few familiar names, particularly for regular WiC readers. Foremost are Lenovo (which most Americans know for buying IBM’s PC business) and Huawei (still keen to sell more of its telecoms equipment in the US, but so far often thwarted by national security concerns, see WiC85).

There are some less familiar names too. Three state-owned firms caught the attention of Bloomberg TV. These are Shenhua, Huadian and State Nuclear Power Technology (SNPT). Shenhua is the world’s largest coal firm, Huadian is one of the nation’s major power generators and SNPT is a builder of third-generation nuclear power plants. As Bloomberg reported, all three were attending a new energy conference organised by the Brookings Institution, a public policy organisation.

The real purpose was to ink commercial deals with their hosts – a standard part of any major state visit. Accordingly, Shenhua announced a deal with GE for a coal gasification power plant joint venture (for more on this technology, see issue 87). GE also sold 50 gas turbines to Huadian.

That continues GE’s largely successful track record in China (see WiC48) and comes notably in spite of CEO Jeff Immelt’s critical remarks about the country last year (WiC68).

One of the biggest deals: Alcoa and China Power Investment Corp said they’d cooperate on $7.5 billion in energy-intensive aluminium-related projects. According to Alcoa’s boss, had it not been for Hu’s visit, their agreement would not have been signed in such “a speedy fashion” reports Dow Jones.

Less dramatically, SNPT signed a two-year extension of its contract with Westinghouse to use its AP1000 nuclear power technology, four units of which are being used at new nuclear plants under construction in China at the moment.

Among the other deals, another utility, Huaneng announced it would team up with utility American Electric Power to evaluate carbon capture technology; and a wind power project signed between UPC and China Guodian.


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