* Rest of Westinghouse operations healthy and profitable
* Will focus on engineering, procurement in future
* First AP1000 reactor to be put into operation by end-2017
(Updates with quotes, context)
By David Stanway
BEIJING, April 28 Toshiba Corp's
Westinghouse Electric Co unit will continue operating normally
in Asia and Europe, despite the ongoing Chapter 11
restructuring, an executive at the troubled company said on
Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy last month, hit by
billions of dollars of cost overruns at four nuclear reactors
under construction in the United States.
Despite the filing, the company will continue existing
projects in China and pursue others, focusing on engineering and
procurement rather than construction, said Gavin Liu,
Westinghouse's president for Asia, at an industry event.
The plan was to decouple the U.S. AP1000 nuclear reactors
from the rest of Westinghouse's operations, which he said was
"very healthy and profitable."
"The rest of the Westinghouse business, the healthy part,
which is new plant construction, fuel, service, decommissioning
- we anticipate an ownership change," Liu said, adding that
there has been "high interest from the financial community".
A source with knowledge of the issue told Reuters that about
10 potential bidders had shown interest, including Western
Digital Corp, rival Micron Technology Inc, South
Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc and financial
The Trump administration and Japanese government are in
discussions to ensure that its bankruptcy does not lead to U.S.
technology secrets and infrastructure falling into Chinese
Four 1,000 megawatt medium-sized nuclear reactor designed by
Westinghouse are under construction in China, which is
increasing its use of the energy form as it seeks to limit the
country's reliance on other power sources such as dirty coal.
Liu said that the first AP1000 units in Sanmen and Haiyang
were moving into the final stage of fuel loading and the Sanmen
unit was on track to be put in commercial operation by the end
of this year.
"As long as the first unit is on line commercially, that is
the foundation for the industry and the government to approve
future AP1000 units," he said.
He added that Westinghouse was not concerned about
competition from China's domestically-developed third-generation
reactor, Hualong One.
"Hualong is a Chinese indigenous design based on China's
early years experience in the nuclear area. It reflects the
Chinese industry's own capabilities," he said.
"The future market will tell."
(Reporting by David Stanway; Writing by Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI;
Editing by Kim Coghill and Randy Fabi)