With land acquisition completed in Andhra Pradesh, Westinghouse’s revised techno-commercial offer for six reactors is under negotiations and expected to be finalised this month.
Highly-placed sources told FE, “With the land acquisition finalised in Kovvadu, Andhra Pradesh, the plan is to have a contract done before 2017, a deadline that had been set by Prime minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama.”
India is also negotiating with US Exim Bank for loan of $ 8-9 billion to part fund the building of the reactors. Both India and the Exim bank are negotiating the terms of the loan in the hope that the problem will be sorted out soon.
Meanwhile, the India-Japan nuclear agreement, under discussion since 2008, is expected to be signed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Japan for the India-Japan annual summit slated in November. Sources in the MEA have said, “The documents are being prepared and the possibility of it being inked during the visit is very strong.”
Both India and Japan are expected to reach an agreement with conditions similar to the deal that India and the US signed for such matters, as the management of nuclear technologies and liability for damages. Also, the two are expected to agree on tight management of nuclear technologies on par with the NPT.
With the deal between India and Japan, the deal with Westinghouse cannot go through as Japanese company Toshiba owns the US Company.
So far, several rounds of commercial as well as technology-related negotiations have taken place over more than a decade for the US firms to build six nuclear reactors, which seem to be stuck due to the nuclear operators liability issue. The contract, when finalised and put in action, is expected to give a big boost to India’s $150-billion nuclear power programme.
India and the US had unveiled in 2015 an insurance plan for nuclear plants that aims at shielding equipment suppliers from liability in the event of an accident, by transferring the risk to insurers.
Though the plan is still sketchy, it is understood that a R1,500-crore ($226.16 million) insurance pool would be created with participation from the GIC Re and four state-owned general insurance companies, with the Centre also pitching in on a later date.
The insurance may be bought by the suppliers, who would then recoup the cost by charging more for their services or the NPCIL would take out insurance on behalf of these companies.