India to continue negotiations with Westinghouse for Andhra nuclear plant

Westinghouse AP100 schematic diagram | source:Westinghouse

The Indian government will continue its talks with Westinghouse Electric Company to set up a nuclear plant in Andhra Pradesh even as the company’s parent, Toshiba Corp, said it would consider selling the unit to Chinese or South Korean companies.

“The government has taken note of media reports regarding Toshiba Corporation’s plans to withdraw from nuclear plant construction,” said Jitendra Singh, junior minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office, today.

“Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is in discussions with Westinghouse Electric Company, which has expressed willingness to continue with the proposed project in India,” he said.

India and China are the two fastest growing major economies in the world and are looking to augment their power generation capacities.

Toshiba acquired the business in 2006 for 600 billion yen, around $1 billion, but has seen global appetite for nuclear power decrease following the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan.

Last month, it said it would post a 700 bln impairment charge caused by cost overruns related to construction delays for AP1000 modular reactors at two locations in the US.

Singh said Westinghouse was in discussions to build the same type of plant in India.

He said that the company submited a “techno-commercial offer ” for setting up six AP1000 units at Kovvada, Andhra Pradesh, following which the NPCIL started talks with the company. Each of the six units will have a power generation capacity of 1,208 megawatt, making it one of the biggest power plants in India.