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Interview with PreussenElektra: Expertise in power production
2016-9-29

Summit: The 3rd AnnualNuclear Plant Operation and Maintenance Conference

Date: September 21 2016

Location: Haiyan, Zhejiang Province

 

Interviewer:

Ms. Cai Yuanyuan, Conference Producer, INNCH International

Interviewee:

Mr. Joachim Specht, Senior VicePresident, Nuclear Engineering and Consultancy, PreussenElektra

Dr. Ulrich Wilke, Vice President, Vice President, Nuclear Sales & Marketing and Project Management, PreussenElektra

 

BackgroundBrief

E.ON has decided to establish the “new E.ON company” in order to switch to the new landscape of energy development needs, market prices and different business lines. The new E.ON.goes into the future with renewable energy, customer solution, distribution services, nuclearstatus inspection.

E.ON is the mother company to the PreussenElektra, which has three cooperatebusiness lines:

operation of the nuclear fleet until the plant is shut down;

decommissioning and post-operation of nuclear plants

delivering and provision of consulting of engineering services in the nuclear business, putting together its ability to provide know-how to the global nuclear market

 

Q1: E.ON's restructuring is seen as a representative case of German's Energiewende(energy transition) as well as a bold move to spin off its fossil-fuel plantsin marking key point in German's transition to green energy sources under Merkel's guidance: as of July 1 2016, E.ON will continue its German nuclear energy activities under company PreussenElektra GmbH, which is the company you are with now. This signifies E.ON's intention to develop its position in renewable energies and clean energy such as nuclear independently. Is PreussenElektra interested in expanding their nuclear business in any other countries?

A1: Expanding the nuclear generation business into new countries is not our current strategic target. We are autility, we have the expertise and, it’s kind of unique as for utility and we are one of the top-performing utilities in the world. And that is why we want to share with the others. But, nuclear is not of the strategic target today.

 

Q2: For all the three pillars of PreussenElektra, are they all the focus of your business strategy in China or just part of them is?

A2: The first pillar, operation of the nuclear plant, is only focused on German market, for our own fleet. Decommissioning of our plant, because that’s our accountability, we have to take care of our own nuclear power plants, therefore the first and second pillars are all nationally in Germany. And for third pillar, it’s globally, that’s the business of consulting engineering services, that’s what we are intending to expand this worldwide. For instance, we want to expand this business to China and other countries. But this will also be dependent on the need and demand of the market, and, this is our interest and intention to make safe safer in nuclear operation.

 

Q3: For your business expansion plan in China, do you foresee any competitors?

A3: We are more focused on our own capabilities, there aren’t many nuclear utilities providing these unique services to the clients. And the point is whether we will be able to find an entering point in the Chinese market. We don’t mind competition because we know we can provide value-adding services forthe nuclear plants.

 

Q4: Germany is shifting its energy focus from nuclear to other renewable energieswhile China is gearing up to develop its new nuclear technologies such asHualongOne(HPR1000), CAP1000 and CAP1400. How do you look at this contrasting policy difference between Germany and China?

A4: It’s not contrasting. It’s the similar development plans leading to different choices. Germany took the decision to step out of nuclear, Germany economic-wise is very strong. From the energy supply side, they are looking for more efficiency. China is a growing country with high demand for electricity,so China has to attend to the needs and, to offer more options. Of which,nuclear is definitely one option of the energy mix. This is a very mature and logic choice to take nuclear into the energy mix to get down the CO2 emission for China. And we are willing to assist China in this by providing safer operations.

 

Q5: How do you look at the market perspective in China along with the currentmomentum of China’s implementation of the new Generation III technologies suchas HPR1000 and CAP1400?

A5: China is noted for and will become the largest nuclear market in the world. However, I think, even China has to be prudent. In this regard, China needs totake into account of the public perception of nuclear. It’s so important to becompletely transparent and to convince that nuclear is definitely a new part of the energy mix in order to reduce the CO2 emission.

 

We are here to offer our expertise for training or for optimized operation and maintenance. From our own history we have the know-how, that’s why are interested to see at INPOM2016 of how Chinese developments are progressing, tosee if there’s a gap for us to fit in in the know-how. We would be happy to become a service provider in Chinese market. This is my first visit to see the big picture, my impression is China will definitely be the frontrunner in global nuclear industry and, it has an impressive and challenging nuclear development program. And you obviously need this program due to the high Co2 emission and big demand of electricity as that nuclear stands as one the sources of electricity. However, safe and reliable operation will always be primary objective for both us and you. According to the expectation, there is the need for continuous optimization. In China the nuclear industry is developing strongly, while you have a big nuclear team made of young talents who are ambitious to realize the nuclear target. This all has given me very positive impression.

  
 
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