Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the US-based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, one of the largest nuclear power plant vendors in the world, for the construction of nuclear power plants in India.
Under the agreement, L&T and GE Hitachi will co-operate to set up Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) and Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) nuclear power plants in India. The partners hope to utilise their capabilities for complete construction of such plants, including supply of reactor equipment and systems, valves, electrical and instrumentation products for ABWR plants to be set up in India, L&T announced today.
Sources said, with this agreement, L&T is sure to bag a major share of the nuclear power plant construction business in India for the next 25 years. The company has already signed agreements with three of the five global major reactor makers, Atomstroyexport (ASE), which is a part of Rosatom of Russia, Toshiba Westinghouse of the US and Atomic Energy of Canada (AEC).
They said the MoU with GE Hitachi is significant, as the Indian government has already committed itself to source about 10,000 Mw of advanced nuclear reactors from GE Hitachi and Westinghouse.
India’s civil nuclear power programme became a reality following India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) after a three-decade ban. It offers an opportunity worth $60 billion for the global nuclear industry, as India plans to add about 60,000 Mw capacity from atomic power by 2032.
BWR, which uses ordinary water as coolant, is the second-most common type of electricity-generating nuclear reactor after the pressurised water reactor (PWR), a technology in which India has capabilities. ABWRs are advanced versions with about 1,350 Mw and more electrical output. L&T has experience in equipment manufacture, construction, project maintenance and other support services for PWR programmes in India, starting with implementation of the Tarapur reactor in 1974. It also plays a major role in construction, piping and erection services for the first two Russian technology nuclear reactors coming up at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.