Westinghouse and China JV Partner Initiate Startup of Zirconium Sponge Plant

Jun 08, 2012, 10:00 ET from Westinghouse Electric Company

PITTSBURGH, June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Westinghouse Electric Company and its China joint-venture partner, the State Nuclear Baoti Zirconium Industry, LTD. (SNZ), commenced the startup of a new zirconium sponge plant production facility, the State Nuclear WEC Zirconium Hafnium Co., Ltd. (SNWZH), in Nantong, China (Jiangsu Province), during an official ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the new facility. 

The SNWZH facility will produce nuclear-grade zirconium, a key component of the tubing process used in nuclear fuel assembly operations, for use by the shareholders of SNWZH to manufacture specialized parts for nuclear fuel assemblies in China and globally through Westinghouse.

Westinghouse Chairman, and Interim President and CEO Shigenori Shiga said, "The commissioning of this China sponge plant further extends our service to the China market.  In addition to building four AP1000® power plants at Sanmen and Haiyang, Westinghouse is pleased to add to its service base the capability to manufacture nuclear-grade zirconium sponge to customers in China."

Startup of the Nantong plant further expands cooperation between Westinghouse and its Chinese customer, the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC), which owns SNZ.  Westinghouse and its consortium partner, The Shaw Group, Inc., signed a landmark agreement with China's SNPTC in 2007 to provide four AP1000 power plants in the country.

Ric Perez, Westinghouse chief operating officer also commented, "We will work in close partnership with joint-venture partners to conduct operations with a focus on safety, quality and operational excellence to provide a high-quality product to our customers.  This is the standard to which we operate all of our Westinghouse facilities, where being close to the customer is an integral part of our success in delivering our products and services to customers."

In addition to Messrs Shiga and Perez, other dignitaries who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the startup of the facility included:  Norio Sasaki, president and chief executive officer, Toshiba Corporation; Yasuharu Igarashi, president and CEO, Toshiba Power Systems Company; Jun Gu, president of SNPTC; Huazhu Zhang, chairman of the China Nuclear Power Association; and Weiguo Zhang, vice governor of Jiangsu Province of China.

Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world's pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world.  Westinghouse supplied the world's first pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa.  Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world's operating nuclear plants.

SOURCE Westinghouse Electric Company