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Nuclear power: Westinghouse to miss deadline to firm-up India deal

The contract, when finalised and put into action, is expected to give a big boost to India’s $150-billion nuclear power programme.

Toshiba, Westinghouse-Toshiba nuclear reactors deal, Westinghouse Electric Company, Narendra Modi, Barack Obama, Exim Bank
The contract, when finalised and put into action, is expected to give a big boost to India’s $150-billion nuclear power programme. (Source: Reuters)

India has asked Japanese company Toshiba to offer ways to resolve the issue of sale of nuclear reactors following bankruptcy of its US-based Westinghouse Electric Company. The Westinghouse-Toshiba nuclear reactors deal for making six reactors was to be negotiated by June 2017 but that deadline is sure to fall through, Indian officials told FE.

“The US-based Westinghouse Electric Co filed for bankruptcy protection in March this year. We have to wait for the company to come up with solutions to meet the June deadline,” an official who didn’t want to be named said. According to the official: “Though no money has exchanged hands, and with techno-commercial negotiations of the deal at an advanced stage, any delay or even a cancellation from the US-based company will impact India’s target of tripling its nuclear generating capacity by 2024”.

The contract, when finalised and put into action, is expected to give a big boost to India’s $150-billion nuclear power programme. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former US president Barack Obama had announced at a summit last year that the Westinghouse deal should be finalised by June 2017. Westinghouse has already been allotted a site in Gujarat to build a nuclear power station with total capacity of 2,500 MW and possibility of expansion in future.

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Similarly, two sites have also been identified for GE plants in Andhra Pradesh with an initial capacity of 3,200 MW. “Before the Prime Minister visits US this summer, there will be series of meetings to address this situation and come up with a solution,” the official added. India is also negotiating with US’ Exim Bank for loan of around $8-9 billion to part-fund building of the reactors. Both parties are negotiating the terms of the loan in the hope that the problem will be sorted out soon.

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