Westinghouse signs Chinese contracts, buys into PBMR

24 July 2007

Westinghouse has signed definitive contracts for the construction of four AP1000 nuclear power plants in China, a day after announcing a company acquisition giving it a further foothold in South Africa's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) project and a platform to promote the AP1000 in South Africa.

Westinghouse, along with consortium partner Shaw, signed the "historic" Chinese contracts with State Nuclear Power Technology Company of China (SNPTC), Sanmen Nuclear Power Company, Shangdong Nuclear Power Company and China National Technical Import & Export Corporation (CNTIC). Specific terms were not disclosed but Westinghouse anticipated the agreements would generate or sustain at least 5000 jobs within the US alone.


According to Steve Tritch, Westinghouse president and CEO, the contracts are of great significance for both the USA and China. "The definitive contracts signed today will result in the first-ever deployment of advanced US nuclear power technology in China," he said.


Preliminary design, engineering and long-lead procurement work is already under way on the strength of framework agreements signed in March 2007. The plants will be built in pairs at Sanmen and Haiyang, with construction expected to begin in 2009 and the first plant starting up in late 2013. The other units are due to start up in 2014 and 2015. They would be the first of the AP1000 third-generation reactor design to comeon line.


Separately, Westinghouse has signed anagreement to buy IST Nuclear (ISTN), a provider of services and systems for South Africa's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor project (PBMR). The acquisition, subject to approval from the South African Competition Commission , is likely to be completed in August, after which ISTN will operate as Westinghouse South Africa Pty Ltd.


Westinghouse already owns 22.5% of PBMR Pty, the company managing the development of PBMR, which is currently concentrated on the construction of a pilot plant at Koeberg.


"Westinghouse has long been a proponent of the PBMR, and this acquisition will allow us to become even more involved as PBMR moves to commercialization," Westinghouse vice president for Engineering Services Nick Liparulo said. He also noted that Westinghouse views ISTN as a growth business, with plans to expand its scope to include working with Westinghouse in servicing light water reactors in South Africa and elsewhere. In its press release, Westinghouse notes that South Africa is a promising market for AP1000 systems and says that it plans to "strongly promote" AP1000 in South Africa at the same time as contributing to the commercial launch of PBMR.


Westinghouse is a group company of Toshiba Corporation and is owned 77% by Toshiba, 20% by Shaw, and 3% by Ishikawajima Heavy Industries.


Further information




WNA's Advanced Reactors information paper

WNN: Westinghouse work to finalise AP1000
WNN: Lightshed on Chinese advanced reactor decisions