General Electric Co. and Hitachi Ltd. signed an agreement on Monday to combine their nuclear energy businesses,which was aimed at competing for a growing number of nuclear power projects around the world, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The agreement came as power suppliers lay the groundwork for new nuclear plants in the United States and overseas, the report said.
GE Energy President and Chief Executive John Krenicki said the United States would need to build 20 plants over the next decade to replace retiring reactors, according to the report.
Under the arrangement, Hitachi will hold 40 percent of GE's existing nuclear business and GE will hold about 20 percent of Hitachi's nuclear business. The companies expect to complete the deal in the first half of 2007.
The GE-Hitachi deal marks further consolidation among reactor makers. Last month, Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp. purchased Westinghouse Electric Co. of the United States, striving to become the world's No. 1 nuclear power company.