Westinghouse Electric Company has announced an arrangement for strategic co-operation with Czech construction/installation company Hutní montáže a.s, in preparation for its hoped-for construction of Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plants in the Czech Republic and in the region.

If Westinghouse is awarded the AP1000 project for Czech utility CEZ, Hutní montáže would be responsible for performing the great majority of the mechanical installation and related construction testing, including assembly and installation of the containment vessel. This potential scope of supply represents a very significant portion of the total plant construction. Hutní montáže could also provide heavy lifting cranes and rigging to offload, transport on-site and set components into the plant, including modules, the CV, and major nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) and balance of plant equipment.

The strategic partnership marks a milestone in Westinghouse’s initiative to develop local partners and deliver a highly competitive tender to CEZ for the construction of two AP1000 reactors at the Temelín nuclear power plant site.  It follows a number of MOUs between Westinghouse and major Czech companies, notably I&C Energo a.s., Metrostav a.s. and Vítkovice a.s., in an effort to establish a strong and diverse local supply chain.  

Miroslav Precechtel, Hutní montáže a.s. chairman of the board of directors said: “Our role within the Westinghouse team if selected would create substantial new capabilities in areas which would expand our range of products and services and gain access to regional nuclear and non-nuclear opportunities.  We are very pleased to be identified as a potential key partner for the AP1000 Temelín 3 & 4 project.”  

The AP1000 has been designed to make use of modern modular-construction techniques, which allow many more construction activities to proceed in parallel.  This reduces the calendar time for plant construction, thereby reducing the cost of money and the exposure risks associated with plant financing. These construction techniques, says Westinghouse, are already being utilised successfully in the U.S. and China.