Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

M'bishi Hvy eyes 2 nuke plant orders yearly-INTERVIEW-UPDATE 2

TOKYO, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd aims to win orders for 30 nuclear power plants by 2025, the head of the company's nuclear energy business said on Tuesday.
The executive vice president also said the firm has a good chance of winning the contract for Jordan's first nuclear power plant project.
Like its rivals, Mitsubishi Heavy is revving up marketing efforts as the number of new nuclear plant projects overseas grows.
There are currently 432 nuclear power plants in operation worldwide and another 140 facilities were either under construction or being planned as of January, according to the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum.
"We are expecting to receive two orders a year. Considering the potential market size, the target is not pie in the sky and is achievable," Akira Sawa told Reuters in an interview.
Mitsubishi Heavy received its third overseas order in the United States in May. Major competitors include Toshiba, which controls U.S. power firm Westinghouse, and a Hitachi-General Electric alliance.
Mitsubishi Heavy is now bidding for a Finnish project and its joint venture with French state-owned energy group Areva is seeking to win an order for Jordan's first nuclear plant, competing with the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd and the state-run Russian firm Atomstroyexport.
Sawa said the Finland contract would probably not be awarded before the end of next year but that the Jordan decision should come sooner.
"I've got the impression that we have the edge (in the Jordan bid)," Sawa said. "There are (geographic) faults in the Gulf of Aqaba in Jordan, and so it is necessary to predict earthquakes there just like in Japan. I heard that Jordan has attached importance to our quake-resistant engineering as well as our safety record."
In Jordan, Mitsubishi Heavy and Areva have proposed the new generation 1,100 megawatts ATMEA 1 nuclear reactor which the two firms are jointly developing.
"Both Mitsubishi and Areva have very strong technologies and I heard the ATMEA is a competitive reactor. If the two other rivals do not slash their prices, Mitsubishi (and Areva) will be able to win the order," said Nomura Securities analyst Shigeki Okazaki.
The French firm is planning a 3 billion euro share offering and aims to sell the stock to strategic overseas partners. The French government has said it would welcome Mitsubishi taking a stake in the state-owned energy group.
Sawa declined to comment on the possibility of this happening.


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