Areva and Alstom have won new deals for the extension of the Ling Ao nuclear power plant in China’s southern province of Guangdong. The two French engineering giants have signed contracts worth close to €500 million.

Areva has won two contracts worth a total of almost €400 million to extend Ling Ao nuclear reactor and will supply the primary circuits and safety-related instrumentation and control systems for the third and fourth units.

The news comes as Anne Lauvergeon, the French company’s executive board chairman, says that China will need to build 20-25 nuclear reactors by 2020 to meet its energy production goals. Lauvergeon said the additional nuclear plants are expected to come online as part of China’s plan to boost the sector’s share of total energy supply to 4% by 2020, comments echoed by Ma Kai, China’s national development and reform commission minister. The news managed to push Areva shares higher.

Meanwhile, French engineering group Alstom has announced that it has won a contract to supply two steam turbines to Ling Ao together with Chinese partner Dongfeng. The contract is thought to worth of the order of €80 million.