Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Do you want China building U.S. power lines?" (DUK; AES)

I lifted the headline from the Houston Chronicle's EnergyWatch blog. They also get the HT.
From the Wall Street Journal:

Duke, State Grid Discuss Energy Venture

Duke Energy Corp. is in talks with State Grid Corp., China's biggest electricity distributor, over a joint venture that may involve cooperating on power transmission lines in the U.S., according to two people familiar with the situation.

The move -- which could test U.S. acceptance of Chinese investment in domestic projects -- shows how U.S. utilities are keen to tap China's low-cost equipment and access to cheap credit to advance capital-intensive projects. These projects likely include the construction of high-voltage transmission lines, which experts say are more efficient over long distances than conventional power cables.

The talks also highlight the need for China's utilities to find foreign partners with cutting-edge technology that can eliminate years of costly research and development. According to a person close to the negotiations, State Grid wants to study Duke's smart grid technology for use in China....

...Duke isn't alone in looking to China. In recent months, global power generator AES Corp. announced it would sell a 15% equity stake in the company to China's sovereign-wealth fund China Investment Corp., while Progress Energy Inc. agreed to share information with Shandong Nuclear Power Co., which is a unit of China Power Investment Corp....MORE
State Grid is floating 20Bil. Yuan ($2.93 Bil) in 7 and 10 year paper today.