BWXT subsidiary to buy GE Hitachi Canada

19 August 2016

BWX Technologies Canada (BWXT Canada) is to acquire GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada (GEH-C) in a move that will enable it to offer a wider range of technical solutions and services for Candu reactors.

The companies have entered into a share purchase agreement which will see BWXT Canada acquire all the shares of the Canadian joint venture of GE and Hitachi. Subject to regulatory approval and other conditions, the transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2016. The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

GEH-C has more than 60 years of experience in supplying nuclear fuel, fuel channel components, services, equipment and parts for the Candu nuclear power industry. It employs about 350 people at its three locations in Ontario.

BWXT Canada is a subsidiary of US-based nuclear fuel and components company BWX Technologies Inc. It has supplied over 300 steam generators for Candus and pressurized water reactors worldwide, as well as other major plant components, and claims to have the "knowledge and expertise to develop innovative solutions for all areas of plant operations" from the reactor itself to conventional systems, replacement reactor vessel closure heads, pressurizers, primary piping, critical heat exchangers, used fuel storage, replacement reactor pressure vessel heads, and steam generators.

BWXT said the acquisition will roughly double its footprint in Canada and signals a "long-term strategic commitment" to the Candu nuclear power segment and growth opportunities related to plant life extensions. BWXT Canada's president, John MacQuarrie, said the acquisition would "substantially enhance" the company's current portfolio commercial nuclear products and services and allow it to offer its customers a more comprehensive suite of solutions. "The acquisition of GEH-C demonstrates BWXT Canada’s focused strategy to leverage its technology-based competencies in offering new products and services for existing customers," he said.

GE Canada CEO Elyse Allan said GEH-C was "the right fit" for BWXT Canada and its goals of long-term growth, while GEH-C CEO Mark Ward said the transaction was "good news for our business", bringing together the knowledge and expertise of the two companies.

On completion of the transaction GEH-C would maintain its headquarters in Peterborough, Ontario, with its activities operating as part of BWXT Canada's overall nuclear business. The combined organization is to be led by MacQuarrie, with Ward expected to remain a member of the leadership team.

Candu reactors are Canadian-designed pressurized heavy water reactors which usually use natural uranium fuel. As well as Canada's 19 operating reactors, Candu reactors - or derivative versions - are in use in Argentina, China, India, Pakistan, Romania and South Korea. After about 30 years of operation Candu operating lives can be extended by carrying out refurbishment, replacing fuel channels and steam generators and upgrading ancillary systems. This is a major operation but allows a reactor to continue operating for the next 30 years.

In late 2015 BWXT Canada signed a memorandum of understanding to provide all 32 steam generators for Bruce Power's CAD 8 billion project to refurbish six units at Bruce A and B. The company recently signed a CAD 130 million ($100 million) contract with Bruce Power for the first eight steam generators to be delivered in 2020. A CAD 12.8 billion ($9 billion) 10-year project to refurbish the four Candu units at Ontario Power Generation's Darlington plant is to begin in October.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News