Westinghouse ready to build nuclear plants in Andhra Pradesh

Westinghouse ready to build nuclear plants in Andhra Pradesh
Highlights

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday that Westinghouse Electric Co is emerging out of bankruptcy and is now capable of delivering the planned six nuclear reactors to India on time. 

Emerging from bankruptcy, it’s capable of delivering India nuclear reactors: US Energy Secretary

New Delhi: US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday that Westinghouse Electric Co is emerging out of bankruptcy and is now capable of delivering the planned six nuclear reactors to India on time.

On his first visit to India, Perry said India must look at "broad portfolio" of energy sources to deliver reliable electricity to its growing population and not just at affordability. Civil nuclear cooperation has been a cornerstone of US-India relations.

The 2016 deal, under which Westinghouse was to build six AP1000 reactors in Andhra Pradesh, was concluded after more than a decade of diplomatic efforts. But it was in limbo after Westinghouse in March last year filed for bankruptcy following an estimated $13 billion of cost overruns at two US projects.

"The most important development is that Westinghouse is coming out of its bankruptcy" by shedding problematic parts of the company, Perry said. "Westinghouse is exceptionally good at building reactors. They are the best reactor manufacturer in the world. Their technology is the best in the world. So they are now ready to go, build reactors."

Asked if Westinghouse is capable of implementing the project on time, he said: "Absolutely." Perry said the Trump administration thinks nuclear energy is very important and it would use it for 'leaning forward' in its partnership with various countries. "India is on top of that list."

He rejected doubts being raised on spending millions of dollars on large and expensive foreign-built nuclear plants when dropping renewable power prices had provided with a surfeit of electricity generation, saying sustainable reliable power is key to meeting growing energy needs. "Having a diverse portfolio is really important. Does that mean that every one of those sources of energy will be cheaper than other, probably not," he asked.

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