EDF takes controlling stake in Chinese wind energy firm

French energy firm EDF has a large presence in China. Chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy (above) says the company plans to accelerate its production of low-carbon electricity in the country.
French energy firm EDF has a large presence in China. Chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy says the company plans to accelerate its production of low-carbon electricity in the country.PHOTO: REUTERS
French energy firm EDF has a large presence in China. Chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy (above) says the company plans to accelerate its production of low-carbon electricity in the country.
French energy firm EDF has a large presence in China. Chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy (above) says the company plans to accelerate its production of low-carbon electricity in the country.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS • State-owned French energy giant EDF said yesterday that it has taken a controlling stake in Hong Kong-based Chinese firm UPC Asia Wind Management (AWM), adding to its range of activities in China.

EDF, which did not reveal what it paid for the 80 per cent stake in AWM, the local arm of UPC China, already has nuclear activities in China, as well as a presence in thermals and hydraulics.

US investment fund Global Environment Fund will retain a 20 per cent share of AWM, said EDF, which last year described China as the centre of gravity of the global energy industry.

The French firm, which highlighted its view of China as a priority growth market, is present in a swathe of Chinese cities, notably with a stake in a nuclear plant at Taishan in the south.

"Our ambition is to accelerate our production of low-carbon electricity, thanks to a diversified energy mix where nuclear and renewable energies are complementary," said EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy.

"Our development in high-potential markets such as China sits perfectly within this dynamic."

China's recent high-growth environment has seen energy consumption rise exponentially in recent years, and carbon currently has a 70 per cent share in the mix.

However, Beijing's "ambition is to reach 200 gigawatts of installed windpower capacity by 2020 - a rise of 15GW per year", said EDF.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2016, with the headline 'EDF takes controlling stake in Chinese wind energy firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe