Westinghouse Inks India Nuclear Deal; Westinghouse Electric Co. Will Build Six Nuclear Reactors in India in a Deal That Highlights How a Global Effort to Limit Climate Change Is Helping to Reverse the Fortunes of an Industry Pressured by Competition from Natural Gas Power Plants and Safety Concerns. [Derived Headline]

By Alex Nixon; Chris Fleisher | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 8, 2016 | Go to article overview

Westinghouse Inks India Nuclear Deal; Westinghouse Electric Co. Will Build Six Nuclear Reactors in India in a Deal That Highlights How a Global Effort to Limit Climate Change Is Helping to Reverse the Fortunes of an Industry Pressured by Competition from Natural Gas Power Plants and Safety Concerns. [Derived Headline]


Alex Nixon; Chris Fleisher, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Westinghouse Electric Co. will build six nuclear reactors in India in a deal that highlights how a global effort to limit climate change is helping to reverse the fortunes of an industry pressured by competition from natural gas power plants and safety concerns.

The deal is the biggest for the Cranberry-based company and the first under a U.S.-India civil nuclear accord reached in 2008.

Westinghouse spokeswoman Courtney Boone said building the AP1000 reactors would result in Westinghouse expanding its workforce in Pittsburgh, where it performs engineering work, and at other sites in the United States where it builds parts for nuclear plants. The company employs 3,800 workers in Western Pennsylvania.

The project "recognizes the need and desire for clean energy and what Westinghouse can contribute for clean energy in India," Boone said, noting that it is "the largest deal of its kind" for the company.

Boone declined to provide a value but a single AP1000 reactor can cost about $5 billion, according to industry estimates.

The U.S. and India announced the deal Tuesday between Westinghouse, a unit of Toshiba Corp., and Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd., a government-owned nuclear development company. Though the two countries said engineering and site development work was starting, there was no agreement about the major unresolved issues: cost and financing. Instead, the countries said only that they had agreed to finalize a contract by June 2017.

"Once completed, this project will fill the promise of the U.S.- India civil nuclear agreement and will create and sustain 10,000 jobs here in the U.S. and in India," John Morton, White House senior director for energy and climate change, said during a conference call Tuesday.

Westinghouse has eight AP1000 reactors under construction -- two in South Carolina, two in Georgia and four in China. But the company has had to lay off workers in recent years as expected nuclear deals failed to materialize. Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, competition from cheaper natural gas plants and slowing global growth sapped demand for nuclear plants.

Toshiba has slashed thousands of jobs and sold parts of its business. The Japanese conglomerate wrote down $2.3 billion of Westinghouse's value in April. Toshiba bought Westinghouse in 2006 for $5.4 billion, but the business has deteriorated since the disaster in Japan.

The contract in India is a potentially huge boost to Westinghouse, but without knowing the project's cost or how it will be paid for, it is difficult to judge the true impact on the company, said Chris Gadomski, lead nuclear analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in New York. …

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Westinghouse Inks India Nuclear Deal; Westinghouse Electric Co. Will Build Six Nuclear Reactors in India in a Deal That Highlights How a Global Effort to Limit Climate Change Is Helping to Reverse the Fortunes of an Industry Pressured by Competition from Natural Gas Power Plants and Safety Concerns. [Derived Headline]
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