Russian state corporation Rosatom has announced that construction works for units at two nuclear power plants (NPPs) in China have begun.

A ceremony was held to mark the start of construction of the seventh and eighth power units of Tianwan NPP and the third and fourth power units of Xudapu NPP.

The ground-breaking event was witnessed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping by teleconference.

Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachev said: “The [already built] power units of Tianwan NPP are now reliably [working for] the benefit of the Chinese people and making a significant contribution to ensuring China’s energy security.

“The units, which were built with Russia’s participation, have produced more than 270 billion kilowatt-hours [of power] so far.”

Rosatom said that all the units will be equipped with VVER-1200 reactors, which are the company’s flagship Generation III + PWR-type reactors.

Tianwan NPP is located in the city of Lianyungang in Jiangsu province, while Xudapu NPP is situated in Huludao in Liaoning province.

The power plants are being developed as part of a series of strategic agreements signed between the two countries in 2018.

Upon completion, the power units are expected to enhance China’s nuclear energy capacity to ensure a reliable supply of clean electricity to the country’s grid.

In a statement, Putin said: “Russian and Chinese specialists are working on this flagship joint project that is truly a milestone.

“They are building powerful, modern Russian-designed nuclear reactors that meet all safety and environmental standards.

“It is planned that they will start operating as soon as 2026–2028, which, as President Xi said, will be a solid contribution to China’s energy security.”

Media sources have reported that the nuclear energy project is expected to cost $3bn.

In 2019, Rosatom announced that the world’s first floating nuclear power plant, Akademik Lomonosov, had arrived at the port of its permanent location in Russia’s Far East.