A nuclear power plant under construction outside Taishan City
Hong Kong - AFP
Shares in China's largest nuclear power producer surged almost 20 percent on its debut in Hong Kong Wednesday, after raising more than US$3 billion in the city's biggest initial public offering this year.
China General Nuclear Power Co. (CGN) soared 19.06 percent to HK$3.31 (US$0.43) slightly short of an intra-day peak of HK$3.48.
The company's IPO raised US$3.16 billion last week, with analysts saying it had a strong appeal to investors as global warming and air pollution in China have increased demand for cleaner energy.
Shenzhen-based CGN currently generates an estimated 9.4 gigawatts -- around half of China's nuclear energy output -- according to documents filed in September.
China has ambitious plans to expand its nuclear industry -- there are currently 21 operational nuclear reactors and 27 reactors under construction in the country, according to the World Nuclear Association.
The world's second largest economy regards nuclear as a key area for energy expansion as it desperately seeks to lower its dependence on pollution-causing coal.
It has set its emission targets, hoping that carbon dioxide emissions will peak in around 2030.
CGN recorded a 5 billion yuan (US$810 million) profit in 2013, a two percent rise from the previous year, according to the preliminary prospectus.
It also has a string of partnerships with international energy companies, including France's EDF and Areva.
Beijing is also keen to export its own nuclear expertise abroad, with Chinese nuclear companies announcing partnership deals in recent months to build new reactors in Argentina and Romania.
Earlier this year China won the right to own and operate new nuclear power stations in Britain.
-- Dow Jones Newswire contributed to this report --