US companies have signed deals for two coal-fired power plants to be built in China. Southern Energy Inc and Johnston Development Co have signed an agreement with the Shanxi Enhaua Energy Co Ltd to develop a $500 million scheme, while Oxbow Power Corp and Sithe Energies Inc have agreed with Zhejiang Provincial Power Development Co and Wenzhou Power Investment Co Ltd to build a $415 million project.

The Shanxi project involves construction of a mine mouth plant. The generating station, comprising two 300 MWe units, will be built 450 km southwest of Beijing. The project is being developed with the Xishan Coal Electricity Group and the Shanxi Provincial Power Co. Work is due to start next year.

The 600 MWe Zhejiang project will be built near Wenzhou. Construction is due to begin later this year with completion scheduled for 2001. The two US companies will each hold a 20 per cent stake, while their Chinese partners will hold 30 per cent each.