It has been a tantalizing target for more than two years. In the early fall of 2004, China let it be known that it was interested in purchasing four large nuclear power reactor plants from international suppliers. The identified field of competitors from the early stages of the project included Westinghouse, Areva, and Atomstroyexport. (See, for example, a September, 2004 article titled Foreign energy giants bid for China’s nuclear contracts.)
Several times, it has been announced that the decision is near, but there have been numerous reasons given for delay. Because of the history of this offering, I recognize that I may be simply spreading a rumor, but I thought it was interesting to find out that at least one publication is reporting that Westinghouse may soon land the contract with what I think is a pretty aggressive bid – reportedly just $1,000-1,200 USD per kilowatt capacity.
You can find the article at Westinghouse seen edging out Areva in China nuclear plant bidding – report. The article is on the Hemscott web site. I have never before heard of this company – here is how they describe themselves in their “About Hemscott” link:
Hemscott is a leading international provider of high quality business & financial data and investor relations services. We have offices in the UK and US serving local and global markets.
If Westinghouse wins, it would be a good thing in the short term for the US – China trade balance, but I have my concerns about the technology transfer that is an integral part of the deal. Industrial history has shown that technology transfers to that country usually end up as job transfers after the mind melds have occurred.