China signs deal with Sudan to build nuclear reactor: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has signed a framework agreement with Sudan to build the African nation's first nuclear reactor, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday (May 24).

Xinhua said the deal was signed on Monday during a three-day visit to Sudan by China's top energy official, Nur Bekri.

The report did not say what kind of reactor would be built in Sudan, but China is currently promoting its own-brand reactor known as the Hualong 1 on overseas markets.

China aims to become a globally dominant player in the nuclear sector, using its ambitious domestic reactor building programme to develop the necessary experience and expertise.

Hualong 1 units are currently being built in both China and Pakistan, and the state-owned nuclear firm China General Nuclear (CGN) is working to obtain regulatory approval for a third-generation reactor model in Britain.

China has already signed deals to build nuclear power plants with a number of countries, including Romania, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Kenya. CGN has also agreed to invest in the Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Britain, which will be built by France's EDF.

China and Sudan are long-term energy partners. State-owned China National Petroleum Corp began developing oil blocks in the country 20 years ago, and has also built a refinery in the capital Khartoum as well as pipelines and petrochemical plants.