Chinese I&C deal increases nuclear localisation

31 January 2013

Westinghouse and Chinese company State Nuclear Power Automation System Engineering Company (SNPAS) are to work together to provide instrumentation and control (I&C) systems for China's future AP1000 nuclear power plants.

Westinghouse-SNPTC IC agreement (SNPTC)_460
SNPTC's Qiu Shaoyang and Westinghouse's Graham Cable celebrate the agreement (Image: SNPTC)

The two firms signed an agreement at a ceremony in Beijing that set out the basic terms, conditions, division of responsibilities and scope of work for the Chinese AP1000 projects - as well as future arrangements for the two companies to work towards project contracts.

The agreed structure for cooperation has SNPAS as the I&C general contractor and Westinghouse as the I&C major subcontractor for future China AP1000 projects. Westinghouse Nuclear Automation senior vice president David Howell said that the agreement demonstrated the company's approach to "deliver industry-leading global technology" through local partners "who use the best local resources to enable long-term viability of the product for the life of the plants," while SNPAS general manager Qiu Shaoyang praised the "sound cooperation relationship" developed by the two companies.

Four AP1000 pressurized water reactors are under construction in China, at Sanmen and Haiyang. Sanmen unit 1 is expected to begin generating electricity next year, and the other three units by 2016. While further AP1000 units are planned in China, the country is also developing its own indigenous advanced reactor designs, and technology transfer agreements featured in the 2007 deal to build the units at Sanmen and Haiyang.

SNPAS, a joint venture of China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and Shanghai Automation Instrumentation Corporation Ltd (SAIC), currently supplies I&C systems and equipment to the owners of both plants. The company is also developing the I&C system for China's own large-scale advanced PWRs.

Localisation is becoming an increasingly important feature in nuclear power plant construction projects, with reactor vendors required to increase the role of local suppliers and contractors in the project. Agreements between reactor builders such as Westinghouse and local suppliers are frequently signed even before projects are finalised as vendors seek to emphasise their links with the local supply chain as they strive to secure orders.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News