BEIJING, DECEMBER 16:China and the United States on Saturday signed an agreement that paves the way for Westinghouse Electric Co to build four civilian nuclear reactors in China, a multibillion dollar coup for US business over French and Russian competitors.
A memorandum of understanding supporting the transfer of nuclear technology to China was signed by China’s Minister for the National Development and Reform Commission Ma Kai and US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. The agreement capped several days of top-level trade talks between China and the US that otherwise yielded few concrete results. It was signed on the sidelines of a closed-door meeting of five major oil importing nations hosted by China.
Stephen Tritch, Westinghouse’s president and CEO, said the details of the contract to build facilities at Sanmen, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, and at Yangjiang in southern China’s Guangdong province have yet to be completed but that it was a multibillion dollar deal. He said the company wanted the plants up and running by 2013.
The Chinese side said it chose Westinghouse based on its technology, its agreement on transferring expertise, the style of cooperation and the prospects for developing locally based technology.