Westinghouse Partners Chinese Company for Nuclear Power Plant Venture

American electric company Westinghouse and China’s State Nuclear Power Automation System Engineering Company (SNPAS) have recently launched a new joint venture to provide instrumentation and control systems (I&C) for China’s planned AP1000 nuclear power plants.

Westinghouse is now listed as the I&C major subcontractor for all work related to Chinese AP1000 projects.

Currently, four AP1000 nuclear power plants, which are made up of a pressurised water reactor exclusively sold by Westinghouse Electric Company, are under construction in China. One, based at Sanmen Nuclear Power Plant in Zhejiang, is expected to go live from next year.

China has officially adopted the AP1000 power plant as a standard for its nuclear power initiative over the coming decades. According to Westinghouse’s CEO, Aris Candris, the world’s second-largest economy hopes to have 100 units either in operation or under construction within two decades.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission has indicated that it intends to raise the amount of electricity produced from nuclear power to 6 percent in that time (up from 1 percent currently). Although relatively small, the increase will be a significant step forward for the country that traditionally is heavily reliant on coal.

The partnership of Westinghouse and SNPAS however, highlights the growing importance of China as a target partner for international businesses.

GDP by industries grew by double digits in almost every year of the last decade. As such, the whole region has become particularly attractive to investors and international businesses looking to enter new markets. This is just the latest of thousands of business trades conducted by Western companies and the ever-thriving Pacific region.

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