Bruce Power signs BWXT Canada to deal to replace steam generators

Bruce Power and BWXT Canada Ltd. will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Dec. 4 to commence the process for steam generator design and manufacturing out of BWXT Canada’s facility in Cambridge, Ontario.

The signing of the MOU follows the Dec. 3 announcement that Bruce Power will advance a long-term, incremental life extension program.

BWXT Canada, a subsidiary of BWX Technologies Inc. (NYSE: BWXT), has supplied all steam generators installed at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station since the station went online in 1977. The MOU will address the supply of replacement steam generators for the four Bruce B units, starting with Unit 6, which will go offline for refurbishment starting in 2020. Each Bruce B Unit will require the manufacturing of eight steam generators as part of Bruce Power’s life extension program. The supply of eight steam generators per unit will result in more than 350,000 engineering and labor hours for BWXT Canada said John MacQuarrie, President, BWXT Canada.

“BWXT Canada is very pleased to sign this MOU with Bruce Power, on the heels of yesterday’s announcement, which signifies our continued strong relationship with the Bruce Power site,” MacQuarrie said in a Dec. 4 statement. “This is the beginning of a long-term project that will provide a major boost for our Cambridge facility.”

The cost of steam generators for the first unit will be determined through this process but is expected to total C$400 million-C$500 million for all 32 steam generators across the Bruce B Units, all of which will be advanced incrementally as these important long-lead components are required for the refurbishment program. The final cost will be determined through this process and will take into account a number of factors including pricing of materials and timing.

Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power’s President and CEO, said that long-term relationships with suppliers like BWXT Canada are an excellent example of how a strong Bruce Power site injects billions of dollars into Ontario’s economy and creates thousands of jobs every year.

“The deal Bruce Power signed with the province yesterday has kick-started one of the largest infrastructure investment programs in Canada, and the people of Ontario will reap the benefits through a strong economy and well-paying, highly skilled careers,” Hawthorne said. “The steam generator replacement program is integral to our refurbishments, and BWXT Canada is a key player in our future successes.”

Bruce Power operates the world’s largest operating nuclear generating facility and is the source of roughly 30% of Ontario’s electricity. The company’s site in Tiverton, Ontario is home to eight CANDU reactors. Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an all-Canadian partnership among Borealis Infrastructure Management (a division of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), TransCanada, the Power Workers’ Union and the Society of Energy Professionals. A majority of Bruce Power’s employees are also owners in the business.

BWXT Canada has supplied over 300 CANDU and Pressurized Water Reactor steam generators worldwide, as well as other critical plant components. The company’s in-depth knowledge comes from over 50 years of experience in the design, manufacturing, commissioning and service of nuclear power generation equipment.

TransCanada (TSX: TRP) (NYSE: TRP) had announced Dec. 3 that Bruce Power has entered into an agreement with the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to extend the operating life of the Bruce Power nuclear facility to 2064. This new agreement represents an extension and material amendment to the earlier agreement that led to the refurbishment of Units 1 and 2 at the site. Consistent with Ontario’s Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP), the multi-year agreement will provide the province of Ontario with 6,300 MW of safe, reliable, competitively priced and emission-less energy for decades to come, TransCanada noted.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.