This article has been updated to reflect that both BHEL and L&T have been awarded identical contracts to supply steam generators for the two new Kakrapar reactors.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) have been awarded contracts by Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) to supply the steam generators for new reactors planned at the Kakrapar nuclear power plant in Gujarat.
The contracts - each worth some Rs3450 million ($68.45 million) - are for the manufacture and supply of a total of eight steam generators, for use in the primary cycle of the two 700 MWe, indigenously-designed pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) planned for construction at Kakrapar.
The Kakrapar site already hosts two 220 MWe PHWRs, which entered commercial operation in 1993 and 1995, respectively. Kakrapar units 3 and 4, construction of which could begin later this year, are due to start operating in 2012.
The contracts are the first to be awarded to domestic manufacturers to supply steam generators for reactors with a generating capacity of 700 MWe. BHEL said that its 700 MWe steam generator is based on the design of its 540 MWe steam generators, which are being utilised at the Tarapur nuclear power plant. BHEL has also supplied steam generators for the 220 MWe reactors constructed by NPCIL. The company said that the four 700 MWe steam generators it is to supply for Kakrapar will be manufactured at its Trichy plant.
BHEL is also currently executing several contracts for NPCIL for the supply of nuclear components. This includes a contract for the supply of the complete conventional island for the first Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) of 500 MWe rating, being constructed by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (Bhavini) at the Kalpakkam plant in Tamil Nadu.
BHEL is said to have supplied more than 60% of equipment used in India's existing nuclear power plants. In order to meet anticipated future demand, BHEL said it has already enhanced its manufacturing capacity to 10,000 MW per annum and is further augmenting it to 15,000 MW per annum by December, 2009 and to 20,000 MW per annum by December, 2011.
BHEL and NPCIL recently signed agreements with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to prepare for the construction of new nuclear power reactors in India. Under the preliminary agreements, GEH said that it "will begin planning with NPCIL and BHEL for the necessary resources in manufacturing and construction management for a potential multiple-unit Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) nuclear power station."
L&T produced components for PHWRs at Rajasthan, Madras, Kalpakkam, Narora, Kakrapar, Kaiga and Tarpur: a total of 17 reactors. It has also secured contracts for 80% of the components for the forthcoming fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam. The company has a 90,000 square metre workshop and can produce control rod drive mechanisms, steam generators, valves and reactor pressure vessels. It can also undertake engineering, procurement and construction contracts on new nuclear power reactors.
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) has agreed to team up with L&T for analyses of its ACR-1000 power reactor in the Indian context. L&T has also signed a memorandum towards a major role in the manufacture of components and modules for Westinghouse's AP1000.