GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), a joint venture of US-based General Electric and Japan’s Hitachi, on Monday announced the signing of two agreements with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) to build nuclear reactors for power generation in India.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Kishore Jayaraman, CEO, GE Energy, for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, said that under the agreements, GEH along with NPCIL and BHEL will plan necessary resources required in the manufacturing and construction of a multiple-unit Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) nuclear power station.
“The 1,350-MW ABWR technology is the world’s only commercially proven Generation III reactor design,” he said.
Asked if it was an exclusive tie-up that GEH has entered into with BHEL, Jayaraman said, “We are talking to other companies as well. This is one such collaboration GEH is looking at.”
“We are also in talks with other companies for building multiple GEH-designed nuclear reactors.”
The memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed after GEH executives recently led a US nuclear industry trade delegation to India to explore potential opportunities to partner with local companies on future nuclear plant projects.
The Mumbai-based NPCIL has already signed a Rs.60,000-crore agreement with France’s Areva for the supply of nuclear reactors.
The agreements signed by GEH with NPCIL and BHEL comes in the backdrop of additional steps being undertaken by the Indian and US governments to implement the agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation they signed in October 2008.
These efforts includes adopting a civil liability law and other regulations. India and the International Atomic Energy Agency signed a nuclear safeguards agreement last month in Vienna, representing a critical milestone in full implementation of the nuclear cooperation agreement between the US and Indian governments.