Operation of the two demonstration Hualong One (HPR1000) reactors under construction at China's Fangchenggang nuclear power plant in Guangxi Autonomous Region has been postponed as a result of delays caused by COVID-19, China General Nuclear (CGN).
Fangchenggang 3 will still start up this year but later in previously planned and Fangchenggang 4 will start up in 2024. CGN noted that unit 3 is in the commissioning phase, and unit 4 is in equipment installation phase.
In a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, CGN said the coronavirus epidemic had impacted the units' construction resources over the past two years and CGN has recently completed an overall evaluation of the construction of Fangchenggang 3&4.
"To realise the high-quality operation of the units and ensure the safe and stable operation of the units when put into operation, and after due consideration, it has been decided to adjust the construction plan of the units.”
The expected date of commencement of operation of Fangchenggang Unit 3 will be the second half of 2022 and the expected date of commencement of operation of Fangchenggang Unit 4 will be adjusted to the first half of 2024."
Fangchenggang is 39% owned by Guangxi Investment Group and 61% by CGN. First concrete was poured for the nuclear island of Fangchenggang 3 in 2015 and for Fangchenggang 4 in 2016. Unit 3 was originally expected to start up in 2019 followed by unit 4 in 2020 but these dates were subsequently postponed until 2022. Fangchenggang 1&2 are domestic CPR-1000s and already in commercial operation.