Westinghouse Electric Company and India’s Larsen & Toubro have signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of nuclear reactors in India.

The deal is a clear sign of the US firm’s determination to participate in India’s lucrative nuclear energy market following last year’s agreement between India and the USA to cooperate in the field of civilian nuclear energy. Other firms from Europe, the USA and Russia are also lobbying hard to gain a share of India’s nuclear market, which is estimated to be worth some $150 billion over the next few decades.

Under their deal, L&T will fabricate reactor equipment and systems, valves, electrical and instrumentation products as well as structural, piping and equipment modules for Westinghouse AP1000 plants destined for the Indian market.

India is planning to add 60 000 MW of nuclear generating capacity to its grid by 2030. The participation of US firms in the market was cleared last year when the US Congress agreed to the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

The accord overturned a three-decade ban on atomic trade between the USA and India and allows US companies to sell nuclear fuel, technology and reactors to India.

GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy says that it expects to get orders for up to eight nuclear power reactors in India, representing a total capacity of around 9000 MW.