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NPC eyeing Rs 13,000 crore in loans

business Updated: Oct 14, 2009 20:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has said that it plans to consider raising close to Rs 13,000 crore through external commercial borrowings and debt from Europe’s Export Credit Agency. Three European banks are willing to help the public sector company in raising the finance.

The debt would be raised to finance the first two nuclear reactors at the Jaitapur power project in Maharashtra. The project will finally consist of six reactors, said S.K. Jain, chairman and managing director, NPCIL. The company already has Rs 13,000 crore in cash on its books today, Jain said.

The company also has a 10 billion-euro credit line from French banks, at interest rates between 5.5 and 6 per cent, highly placed officials said Wednesday. Thirty per cent of the investment in the Jaitapur plant needs to be in equity, while 70 per cent will come from borrowings or other modes of funding.

“NPICL is in meaningful dialogue with French banks for debt funding,” Jain said.

“We have the initial investment ready. We also have the credit line in place as and when the need arises,” said J.K. Ghai, director finance, NPCIL.

Natixis, France’s fourth largest bank, Credit Agricole and HSBC Bank are among those banks willing to underwrite the debt to India’s apex nuclear power agency.

“The French government already has various facilitating laws for companies willing to invest or underwrite projects in India and elsewhere,” said Jerome Bonnafont, ambassador to India for France.