Beijing: Spain’s nuclear energy sector is seeking to expand its presence in China after gaining a strong foothold, providing components to nine of the country’s 14 operating nuclear power plants.

The current goal is to gain participation in future nuclear power stations, both those already being built and those whose construction is pending approval, the Spanish Nuclear Group for China (SNGC) said.

SNGC is an alliance of four Spanish nuclear companies: Equipos Nucleares SA, Tecnatom, ENUSA and Ringo Valvulas.

“There are many possibilities for boosting this participation,” SNGC director Carmelo Palacios said during this week’s Nuclear Industry China exhibition – the world’s largest – in Beijing.

“They’re companies that aren’t coming to China for the first time. They’ve been working here for some time and believe there are some very significant business prospects in their sector in the coming years,” Spain’s ambassador to China Eugenio Bregolat said at the event.

He said China was the “place to be” for Spain’s nuclear industry. Approval was pending for up to 40 more plants to be built between now and 2020.

If the projections prove accurate, the world’s second-largest economy would eventually have a total of 80 nuclear power plants.

“Of the 80 they’ll have, let’s see if we can be in 40 or 50, involved in bigger or smaller things,” Palacios said.

Tecnatom, among a handful of companies worldwide that specialize in inspection technologies for nuclear power plants, exemplifies the success the four companies have had in China.

China’s nuclear programme is considered the fastest-growing worldwide.

Source: IANS