Simulator joint venture for Chinese market

06 July 2010

A joint venture simulator company has been formed by GSE Systems and Beijing-based Unis with a focus on the burgeoning market for domestic Chinese reactors. 


The primary target of GSE-Unis is the Chinese designed CNP-600 and CPR-1000 series of nuclear power plants, 32 of which are either firmly planned or under construction, and the conventional power plant market where Unis is supplying contracts for some 40 power plants.
The company will be 49% owned by GSE and 51% owned by Unis. Each will provide projects, technology, and simulation engineers. The company will have $1.4 million in working capital from GSE and $1.5 million from Unis, which will also lend an established position in the Chinese market. Unis' existing customer base and relations with government are seen as pivotal to scaling barriers to entry to the Chinese power market.


The largest shareholder of Unis is Tsinghua University, a Chinese research and technology institution widely recognised for its contributions to nuclear engineering, including work on the High Temperature Gas Reactor. The company functions as an incubator, transferring technologies from the university to the commercial sector. Tsinghua originally developed simulation technology in 1984, and systems based on this have been sold to companies representing over 50% of the Chinese fossil fuel power market.


GSE CEO John Moran commented: "The formation of GSE-Unis allows full access to what is arguably the fastest growing energy market in the world… in order to effectively compete for nuclear and conventional power plant contracts it is important that non-Chinese companies like GSE form joint ventures with Chinese companies." He also mentioned that GSE-UNIS would provide a source of lower cost engineering resources, which could improve the competitiveness of other GSE projects.


Unis president Zhao Weiguo said, "We see the joint venture as an important step to internationalize our technical sources. The age of nuclear power is coming in China even faster than expected because of the huge demand for electric power and the increasing environmental pressure."


GSE-Unis has received its certificate of approval from the China Commission of Commerce and expects to receive its formal license this month. Initially it will be comprised of over 70 simulation engineers, making it the largest simulation company in China. 
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News