Westinghouse wins China nuclear race

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA December 16 — Westinghouse has won a key contract to supply its AP1000 nuclear technology to four nuclear power plants in southeast China.

The contract, awarded by China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC), will see Westinghouse supply around half of the scope of the four new plants, in Sanmen, Zhejiang Province and Yangjian, Guangdong Province. The remainder of the scope will be “sourced from within China,” said Steve Tritch, Westinghouse president and chief executive officer.

Westinghouse AP1000 technology

Westinghouse AP1000 technology

Tritch said at a press conference the Chinese had been “demanding” – a key issue in offering the work to a foreign supplier was the amount of work to be supplied from within China. In June, Westinghouse’s bid for the US$2.9 billion (RMB22.7 billion) Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant in northeast China was reportedly setback by design adjustments which increased its share of the non-nuclear, or conventional, plant construction.

“Over time, though, as Westinghouse wins additional contracts for new plant work in China, additional scope will be sourced in-country,” said Tritch, indicating that the Chinese and Westinghouse have found common ground over this issue.

The AP1000 is based on standard Westinghouse pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology, which has more than 2,500 reactor years of successful operation. It is an 1,100MW design, which Westinghouse says is ideally suited to baseload operation.

China presently has nine nuclear generators in commercial operation with a total capacity of about 7GW.

About James Ockenden (223 Articles)
A writer covering international energy and power markets since 1996
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