India's largest nuclear power firm-the state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is entering into joint ventures (JVs) with public sector undertakings (PSUs) to set up a series of nuclear power projects using indigenous technology. Once all clearances are in place, the same tie-ups will be extended for nuclear plants with foreign technology as well.
A senior government official told the HT that investments over Rs 1 lakh crore have been planned for setting up at least six nuclear power plants of 1000-2000 mw each by NPCIL through the JV route with state-owned firms in the next 5-6 years.
The PSUs with which NPCIL has already announced tie ups include Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), NALCO, NTPC.
ONGC is the latest with which NPCIL is firming up its JV and discussions are underway with, SAIL and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).
The cost of setting up every 2000 mw nuclear power plant will be close to Rs 20,000 crore and six of such plants will exceed Rs 1,00,000 crore that will be funded by a suitable mix of equity and debt at around Rs 10 a unit.
The move is aimed at giving a major boost to India's nuclear energy plans as foreign tie-ups underway with leading global suppliers of nuclear reactors may take some more time to materialise in the wake of the recent nuclear accidents in Japan and Europe.
An NPCIL official confirmed that a draft memorandum of understanding has been firmed up between NPCIL and ONGC, while similar agreements are underway with PSUs such as SAIL and BPCL.
"NPCIL and ONGC are close to incorporating a JV company for a proposed 2000 mw nuclear power plant," a former chairman of ONGC told HT.
"The JV may build, own and operate nuclear power plants for energy generation at mutually agreed locations subject to approval of competent authority and establishment of techno-commercial viability," said a ONGC note.
NPCIL intends to set up five more nuclear energy parks each with a total capacity of upto 10,000 MW at a single location. The sites identified for these energy parks are -Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Mithi Virdi in Gujarat, Kowada in Andhra Pradesh and Haripur in West Bengal.