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China’s Renewable-Energy Companies Rise After Xi Vows to Cut Coal Investment

By Yongchang Chin

Chinese energy companies with growing renewable-energy operations rallied Thursday after President Xi Jinping said Beijing would stop building coal-fired power plants overseas as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions.

Shares of China Resources Power Holdings Co., whose power generation from solar and wind power has risen more than 50% this year, were recently up 14% after hitting their highest level since 2014. The stock has nearly tripled this year on rising electricity demand in China.

Wind-farm operator China Longyuan Power Group Corp. was recently 9.2% higher and nuclear-energy producer CGN Power Co. added 7.8%.

Shares of Huaneng Power International Inc., whose low-carbon energy sources accounted for 21% of its installed capacity as of June, was up 8.9%. Huadian Power International Corp., which also has renewable-energy operations, was last 14% higher.

China’s energy companies also continue to benefit from signs of a domestic power crunch this year. Data from China’s National Energy Administration last week showed that domestic power demand in the first eight months of the year rose 14%.

Supply may also be constrained, with low hydro-electric generation due partly to dry weather, ANZ’s Daniel Hynes said in a note. High energy-commodity prices for coal and natural gas are also likely to contribute to China’s tight power market as energy-generation costs rise.

Newcastle coal is extending gains to set new records, last trading 0.6% higher at $180.50 a ton, tripling from its year-earlier level, according to FactSet.

Front-month JKM liquefied natural gas contracts last settled at $26.975/MMBtu, more than five times its year-ago price, FactSet data showed.

President Xi said in an address to the United Nations on Tuesday that Beijing would cease building new coal-fired power projects overseas and that China would step up support for low-carbon energy in developing countries. He reiterated his commitments that China will cap its own carbon emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

Write to Yongchang Chin at [email protected]

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