Russia’s Rosatom State Corporation in South Asia, is opening a regional office in Mumbai. Evgeni Griva, director general of Rosatom (South Asia), who will be taking over as in charge of the corporation in Mumbai, speaks to Huma Siddiqui. Excerpts:
Rosatom has been actively building up its network of regional offices. Do you plan to establish a representative office in India?
Rosatom is now actively expanding its global footprint. The State Corporation is opening its regional offices. Rosatom is expanding its branch network to strengthen its global footprint in accordance with its long-term development strategy of increasing the foreign orders portfolio up to $190 billion. This is the ambitious but achievable goal of the State Corporation for the next 5 years.
What is the current status of the Kudankulam nuclear plant construction project and is there any progress with the construction of power units 3 and 4?
Currently, the NPP Kudankulam project includes the construction of six power units with VVER-1000 type reactors. The first unit of Kudankulam NPP was commissioned in 2013 according to the latest safety requirements. By the beginning of the scheduled preventive maintenance (SPM) the nuclear plant had already generated 6873 million units of electricity, and the turbine generator had been in operation for 9267 hours. Thus, the installed capacity of the Indian nuclear power plants reached 5780 MW. This is the world’s first nuclear power plant, which has implemented and successfully operated “post-Fukushima” tightened security measures. The generation tariff for Kudankulam NPP is maintained at the level set by the Indian government in 2010-2011 without any escalation. This rate is considered to be one of the most competitive in India. The first SPM has now successfully completed, the turbine is running, and the unit is expected to be connected to the grid within a few hours. The second unit assembly is finished. The hot run stage is completed. The physical launch is scheduled by the Indian party for mid-2016.
During the recent visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russia it was announced that the signing of the MFA for the construction of units 5 and 6 is planned in Q1 2016. What is the status of this project?
The technical and commercial proposal for the installation of Kudankulam power units 5 and 6 has already been provided to the Indian party. Atomstroyexport JSC and the Indian Nuclear Energy Corporation are currently involved in detailed discussions of the project and the Master Framework Agreement with regard to the Indian party requirements concerning further enhancement of the project safety and localisation.
In the same visit, it was announced that an agreement has been reached on allocation by the Indian party of one more site for a Russian design nuclear power plant apart from Kudankulam NPP which is already under construction. What is the progress in this area?
Apart from the Kudankulam NPP, Russia and India are considering the possibility of building a number of other nuclear power plants. These are all practical steps to implement the most important document signed on December 11, 2014 – “Strategic Vision of Strengthening Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India”. An agreement has been reached on the allocation by the Indian party of one more site for the construction of six new nuclear reactors of Russian design. We hope to get more detailed information about the site from the Indian party as soon as possible.
The company has signed the production localisation program in India for Russian designed nuclear plants. What does this program envisage?
During the visit of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to Moscow an Action Program was indeed signed between the State Corporation Rosatom and the Atomic Energy Department of the Government of India on the localisation of production in India for nuclear power plants of Russian design. The Action Program includes areas of cooperation in the field of joint machinery production, especially the production of equipment which can be supplied to nuclear power plants, as well as cooperation in the field of joint development, mastering and technological support of the implementation of end-to-end production technologies of products for heavy and power engineering industries.