Larsen, ASE to cooperate on VVER units

15 April 2009

Indian engineering company Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russia's AtomStroyExport (ASE) for cooperation on Russian-designed VVER 1000 nuclear power reactors.

Kudankulam (ASE)
Kudankulam (Image: ASE)
The MoU was signed in Moscow by Madhukar Kotwal, L&T's senior executive vice-president, and Dan Belenkiy, president of ASE.
The MoU will form the basis of cooperation between the two companies and address needs for equipment and other services arising from the agreement signed between India and Russia in December 2008 for four additional reactors at the Kudankulam site in Tamil Nadu state, as well as other Russian reactors at new sites in India, and also in other countries.
L&T has played a significant role in the construction of the Kudankulam 1 and 2 VVERs, which are nearing completion.
In a statement, L&T said that the agreement with ASE "represents a major step for L&T into VVER component and systems manufacturing and services. It will enable L&T, as well as ASE, to utilize indigenous capabilities for nuclear power plants including supply of equipment and systems, valves, electrical and instrumentation products and fabrication of structural and piping and construction for the Russian VVER plants in India and in other global locations."
L&T added that the two companies are "optimistic about the emerging opportunities and see the possibility of future cooperation, in India as well as abroad."
Belenkiy said that the signing of the MoU between ASE and L&T is "the start of extensive teamwork that in full measure enables both companies to show their potential at realization of new projects in the field of nuclear engineering."
In January, L&T signed two MoUs with foreign nuclear power reactor vendors. The first, with Westinghouse, would likely see the Indian manufacturer produce component modules for Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor. Shortly after that agreement, L&T signed an MoU with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) "to develop a competitive cost/scope model for the ACR-1000."
With India previously isolated in terms of trade, the country's engineers had to design and produce nuclear power plant components alone. In that environment, L&T produced components for pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at Rajastan, 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.