Westinghouse: Bankruptcy in US won’t impact India nuclear power project
New Delhi: The US nuclear power giant Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, which is to build six atomic reactors in Andhra Pradesh, is expected to complete its bankruptcy proceedings by next year, and the ongoing financial turmoil is unlikely to impact its India project, a top company official said on Friday.
Krish Rajan, Westinghouse vice president, India Business and Project Development, said the company, which has filed for bankruptcy in the US, has a restructuring plan in place. Westinghouse is to build six nuclear reactors, with a capacity of 1208-MW each, in Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh.
Westinghouse, a unit of Japan’s Toshiba Corp., moved for bankruptcy in March this year after cost-escalations in two nuclear power plants it designed and is constructing in Georgia and South Carolina in the US.
“We expect to be out of bankruptcy Chapter 11 process sometimes early next year. We will be out of that, so it will not have any effect on the (nuclear power project in India),” Rajan said. The Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code generally provides reorganization, usually involving a corporation.
A chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. Rajan was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Nuclear Energy Conclave organized by the India Energy Forum in New Delhi.
When asked whether the civil liability issue still remains a matter of concern for the Westinghouse, Rajan said the company’s talks with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, a public sector unit that operates nuclear power plants, have still not reached that level.
He also noted that India has to come up with an insurance policy for the nuclear power project. “The Government of India has to put together an insurance product. We haven’t got to the point where insurance product has been completed. We also haven’t got to the commercial discussions...to the point where I can translate that in to a full insurance policy,” he said.
Although India has tried to assuage the concerns of foreign players building atomic power reactors in the country, the US and French companies have often flagged the insurance issue.