NPCIL-NTPC to ink JV pact for two nuclear reactors

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 3 2009, 03:20am hrs
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The new year will begin with a bang for two of the country's largest power generators. Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL) and NTPC will soon sign a joint-venture (JV) agreement for the development of two nuclear reactors with a generation capacity of 1,000 mega-watt (mw) each.

While NPCIL has a generation capacity of 4,153 mw, NTPC has an installed capacity of 29,500 mw.

Nuclear Power Corporation will hold 51% in the projects, while the balance 49% will be held by NTPC. NTPC has already announced that it proposes to have a nuclear capacity of 2,000 mw by 2017.

The proposed investment will be in the order of Rs 10,000 crore. The projects are expected to be developed on 70:30 debt equity ratio. "NPCIL, being the experienced player in the nuclear sector, will have a majority stake. Details regarding procurement of nuclear reactors, fuel and mobilisation of funds will be worked out during the signing of the JV agreement," informed sources told FE.

In a related development, a 51-member delegation comprising representatives of 34 US companies from nuclear, thorium, uranium, and operation and maintenance areas will hold crucial talks with Nuclear Power Corporation on January 15 and 16 in Mumbai for proposed business opportunities.

Nuclear Power Corporation chairman and managing director SK Jain told FE that a two-day session is being organised for the first time after the US President's approval for the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement.

The list of companies that will attend the event include Bechtel Nuclear, BGR Holding Inc, GE Hitachi Nuclear, Westinghouse Electric Company, Urenco Inc, Thorium Power, General Atomics, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, Roll Royce India, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, ConverDyn and Holtec International.

The meeting is crucial as NPCIL has proposed a capacity addition of 10,000 mw in the 11th Plan period. This will be done through nuclear reactors from US companies and other suppliers from France and Russia. It entails an investment of Rs 80,000 crore.

The capacity addition is planned at Kudankulam (2x1,000 mw) and Jaitapaur (2X1,000 mw). Besides, NPCIL has evaluated sites in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Orissa. The Government of India will have to approve two sites from those evaluated for two projects of 2,000 mw each. This apart, NPCIL's capacity through indigenous reactors will increase to 15,000 mw with an additional investment of Rs 80,000-1,20,000 crore (Rs 6 to Rs 8 crore per mw) in the 12th, 13th and subsequent Plan periods.