US-based company Westinghouse Electric announced that it, and its power consortium partner the Shaw Group, signed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.
Westinghouse and the Shaw group were also a part of the consortium, along with Murray & Roberts, bidding for the contract to build South African State-owned utility Eskom's first new nuclear power station since the Koeberg power plant was built in the late 1970s, and started generating power in 1984.
The Westinghouse consortium was bidding rival to French company Areva, which had partnered with construction group Aveng, French contractor Bouygues, and nuclear-energy utility EDF for the South African contract.
Formal negotiations between Eskom and the two vendors were said to have started in February 2008, with recommendation on the preferred bidder to be submitted to the Eskom board for approval during June 2008.
Westinghouse, Shaw, SCANA Corporation, and Santee Cooper, a State-owned electric and water utility in South Carolina, would provide two Westinghouse AP1000(TM) nuclear power units at the VC Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, in South Carolina.
This was the second EPC contract to be signed by Westinghouse in the last six weeks, which the company said showed that nuclear power was accepted as a cost-competitive, clean and highly safe source of baseload electricity generation.
"We at Westinghouse are proud that our technology has again been selected, and we look forward to taking a leadership role, along with our valued customers and partners, in the worldwide nuclear renaissance. We pledge to work diligently with our customers to provide these plants in a timely and efficient manner and to see that they are exceptionally well maintained and operated," said Westinghouse president and CEO Steve Tritch.
In early April Westinghouse signed an EPC with Georgia Power to provide two plants at the Vogtle site near Waynesboro. Before that, no other contracts to provide new nuclear power plants in US had been signed since 1978.
In July 2007, Westinghouse and Shaw signed contracts to provide four AP1000s in China, where initial work was currently under way.
Westinghouse believed the AP1000 was ideally suited for the worldwide nuclear power marketplace, and was based on standard Westinghouse pressurized water reactor technology that has achieved more than 2 500 reactor years of successful operation, and was a modular design, promoting ready standardisation and high construction quality.