French engineering group Alstom has signed a framework agreement with Russia's Atomenergomash to form a joint venture for the manufacture of the conventional islands of Russian nuclear power plants. A similar deal could follow in India.
The agreement was signed in Moscow by Atomenergomash's director general Kirill Komarov and Alstom's chairman and CEO, Patrick Kron.
The planned joint venture - which will be 51% owned by Atomenergomash and 49% by Alstom - will manufacture the entire conventional island of nuclear power plants (essentially most of the nuclear power plant except the reactor), drawing on Alstom's 'Arabelle' half-speed turbine technology.
The two partners will together invest Eur200 million ($266 million) in the joint venture in the form of assets and cash. Atomenergomash, through its ZiO-Podolsk machine engineering plant, will provide an empty building at Podolsk, near Moscow, as its part of the authorized capital. Alstom will transfer technology to the joint venture company, namely for the manufacture of the 'Arabelle' steam turbine and generator.
The joint venture will focus on the Russian nuclear power plant market, but will also compete in the international market. Turbines to be manufactured by the joint venture are expected to be supplied to nuclear power plants to be built under the federal program 'Development of Nuclear P ower and Industry Complex for 2007-2010 and until 2015'. Under the program, Russia plans to double its nuclear power capacity by 2030 .
Kron said, "Creating a joint venture with Atomenergomash in the nuclear power plant market for power generation is a key strategic move for Alstom." He added, "It is obviously an entry point into the Russian market, which is one of the top three countries for the future development of atomic energy generation, along with China and the United States." Kron said the joint venture would build, on average, between two-and-a-half and three conventional islands annually until 2030. The joint venture is not expected to deliver its first equipment for four or five years, he said.
Atomenergomash (short for Atomnoye i Energeticheskoye Machinostroyenie, Nuclear and Power Generation Machine Engineering) is a subsidiary of Atomenergoprom, the state-owned company responsible for producing equipment for Russia's civil nuclear program. Atomenergomash is part of the Rosatom system. The company specializes in the production, supply, installation and repair of equipment for nuclear power plants.
Kron also said Alstom is in talks with Indian partner Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) 'about an alliance covering conventional islands' of nuclear plants. Alstom already has a technology sharing agreement with BHEL covering coal-fired power plants, he said.
WNA's Nuclear Power in Russia information paper