Larsen and Toubro in pact with Russian firm for nuclear plants (Lead, Changing Dateline)

April 15th, 2009 - 1:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 15 (IANS) Indian diversified conglomerate Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has further expanded its footprint in the nuclear power space, signing a pact with a Russian nuclear energy major to design and develop reactors for the Indian market, including four at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.
L&T had earlier signed similar pacts with Westinghouse Electric of the US and Atomic Energy of Canada.

Russia’s Atomstroyexport, with which the latest agreement has been signed, is currently implementing projects that make up 20 percent of the world volume for nuclear facilities, the $7-billion Indian company said in a statement Wednesday.

“The memorandum of understanding will form the basis of cooperation between the two companies and address the needs for equipment and other services arising from the agreement signed between India and Russia on Dec 5, 2008,” the statement said.

One of the main components of the agreement was for four additional reactors at the Kundankulam site in Tamil Nadu.

L&T, along with its Russian partner, will develop cooperation in the construction of these four power projects, as also look at the possibility of executing projects with Atomstroyexport’s reactors in India and abroad.

Besides building reactors, the pact will cover areas such as supply of equipment, systems, valves, electrical and instrumentation products, as also fabrication of structurals and piping.

Besides Russia and India, Atomstroyexport has its presence in three countries, namely China, Iran and Bulgaria, and is supported by five decades of Russian experience in atomic energy and the construction of nuclear power projects.

In mid-January, L&T announced an agreement with Westinghouse Electric of US to build nuclear power reactors, saying the pact would enable the two companies “utilise indigenous capabilities for the turnkey construction of nuclear power plants including supply of reactor equipment and systems”.

Westinghouse technology is in use in over 40 percent of operating nuclear power plants globally, an L&T statement had added. A Toshiba Corp group company, the US firm supplies nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities across the world.

The deal came in the wake of the agreement signed between India and US last year on cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear power.

A week later, L&T signed another agreement - with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) - though the pact is subject to final approval of a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement between the governments of India and Canada.

In March, L&T bagged a Rs.345-crore ($67.5-million) order from the Nuclear Power Corp of India (NPCI) for supply of four steam generators.

The steam generators are critical and long lead equipment which will be supplied to the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project-3 and 4.

L&T said these would be the largest steam generators built in India so far, and would help indigenously developed nuclear power projects increase power generation from 540 MW to 700.

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