Westinghouse Wins Massive Contract to Design Nuclear Power Plants in China
Pfister, Bonnie, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Westinghouse Electric Co. has won a long-awaited multi-billion dollar contract from the government of China to design four nuclear power plants in the energy-hungry nation, company officials said today.
Westinghouse CEO Steve Tritch announced the deal, which will use the Monroeville-based company's new AP1000 technology, in Beijing at about 2:30 a.m. Pittsburgh time.
Previously the value of the contract had been estimated at $8 billion, but Bloomberg News reported from China that the project was worth about $5.3 billion. Westinghouse spokesman Vaughn Gilbert declined this morning to confirm or deny that figure.
In a decision anticipated for two years, Westinghouse's design beat out that of rival Areva SA, France's state-owned nuclear engineering firm. Plants using Westinghouse's AP1000 design, approved by U.S. regulators earlier this year, are able to generate enough power to electrify 880,000 homes.
The news comes two weeks after Westinghouse announced it would hire at least 1,000 additional high-paid workers in Western Pennsylvania in the next decade. That number is part of the 5,000 new hires that will be made by Westinghouse and its partner, The Shaw Group, across the United States as a result of the Chinese contract, Gilbert said. …