India and the US are committed to realising the full potential of their commercial civil nuclear cooperation and strengthen their relationship in the energy sector, the White House has said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden meeting with President Donald Trump. “The United States and India are committed to realising commercial civil nuclear cooperation, in particular through a contract for six Westinghouse Electric AP-1000 nuclear reactors to be built in Andhra Pradesh, India,” the White House said in a statement. “Once completed, the project will provide reliable electricity for millions of Indian citizens,” the White House said, a viewpoint echoed by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar later in the evening.
“On Westinghouse, we are told that by the end of the year it could really rework its current situation and be back in business,” he told reporters at a news conference at the conclusion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day US trip. According to an India-US joint statement, Prime Minister Modi and the President Trump were looking forward to the conclusion of contractual agreements between Westinghouse Electric Company and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India for six nuclear reactors in India and also related project financing. Modi and Trump agreed to accelerate their co-operation in the energy sector.
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“We’re looking forward to exporting more American energy to India as your economy grows, including major long-term contracts to purchase American natural gas, which are right now being negotiated, and we will sign them. Trying to get the price up a little bit,” Trump told reporters at the Rose Garden in White House during a press statement. Trump affirmed that the United States continues to remove barriers to energy development and investment in the United States and to US energy exports so that more natural gas, clean coal, and renewable resources and technologies are available to fuel India’s economic growth and inclusive development, the statement said.
“Both leaders welcomed upcoming visits between India and the United States that will expand energy and innovation linkages across the energy sector and deepen cooperation, including on more efficient fossil fuel technologies, smart grids, and energy storage,” the statement said. “They supported financing of energy projects, including clean coal projects, by Multilateral Development Banks to promote universal access to affordable and reliable energy,” it said. The White House said Indian energy companies have signed more than USD 30 billion in long-term contracts for US- produced liquefied natural gas (LNG), including from Louisiana and Maryland.
Industry estimates that Indian companies have invested more than USD 10 billion in the United States LNG and shale sectors. US Trade and Development Agency will host a Refineries Performance Optimisation Reverse Trade Mission in the fall of 2017, familiarising senior executives from Indian refining companies with US technologies that can optimise the performance of India’s oil refineries. The Department of Commerce will lead a Smart Grid and Energy Storage Business Development Mission to New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai in March 2018 to showcase US technologies and services that can help India address its grid modernisation needs.
The two countries also announced the Smart Grid and Energy Storage consortia under the US-India Joint Clean Energy and Research Development Center. The US-India Clean Energy Finance Task Force is delivering recommendations to mobilise US technology exports and American and Indian private investment in India’s USD 1.2 trillion power market. Additionally, the Department of State is facilitating connections between American and Indian industry, state governments, and universities to advance energy solutions, the White House said.