The proposed new plants to need the steam turbines are Units 1 to 4 of the Gorakhpur nuclear power project in the northern Haryana state and Units 5 and 6 of the existing Kaiga nuclear station in the western Karnataka state.
GE said these six units form the first stage of a plan by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to build 12 indigenously developed 700-MW pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR), a domestic design based on Canada’s Candu type.
The value of the three-turbines contract is estimated at $165m (€156m), according to GE.
The company said it signed in 2018 a business cooperation agreement and a license and technology transfer agreement with BHEL to enable them to manufacture nuclear steam turbines of 700 MW.
Under the new contract, the turbines will be manufactured at a GE facility in Sanand, in Gujarat state.
In January 2021, BHEL was awarded a contract by NPCIL to supply the first major components for the planned fleet of indigenously developed PHWRs. The New Delhi-based engineering and manufacturing company said the order was for 32 reactor header assemblies.
The PHWR design does not require a reactor pressure vessel (RPV) like a pressurised water reactor or boiling water reactor. This is important because India does not have the manufacturing capability to produce the large forgings needs to make RPVs.
In 2017 the Indian government approved and financially sanctioned the construction of 10 PHWRs to be completed by 2031. The plan was amended in 2018 to include two extra reactors, bringing the total to 12.
The planned reactors are Kaiga-5 and -6 in Karnataka state, Chutka-1 and -2 in Madhya Pradesh, Mahi Banswara-1,-2,-3 and -4 in Rajasthan and Gorakhpur -1,-2,-3, and -4 in Haryana state
The total cost of constructing the reactors was estimated in 2017 at $16.3bn and the government said it planned to source materials and components for the units in India.
Four other 700-MW PHWRs are already under construction: Kakrapar-3 and -4 in the state of Gujurat, western India, and Rajasthan-7 and -8 in the state of Rajasthan, northern India.