India's largest private utility, Tata Power, is in talks with French nuclear group Areva about sourcing nuclear power equipment, chairman Ratan Tata told shareholders on Wednesday.
"Tata Power has alignments with some major nuclear equipment suppliers like Areva," he said at the company’s annual general meeting.
Tata Power would build nuclear power plants if the government changed the rules, Tata said. “Tata Power is ready to go. There is considerable homework that has been done,'' he added.
Nuclear power currently provides only 3 per cent of India's energy supply. Indian companies are exploring opportunities to set up nuclear-based power plants.
National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has already firmed up a proposal for a nuclear plant. Besides the Tatas, Reliance, Larsen & Toubro and the GMR Group are among private companies considering a entry into this sector.
These moves will become a reality only after the government amends the Atomic Energy Act. Under the Act, the participation is limited to Nuclear Power Corporation.
A draft legislation permitting other companies has been doing the rounds of various ministries since the first discussions started between the US and India but little progress has been made so far. Global companies are lobbying to amend the Act sensing a $100 billion potential.
Tata Power generates more than 2,300 megawatts (MW) of power and distributes 850-MW in New Delhi. About expansion plans, Tata said Tata Power would spend over Rs 10,000 crore over the next three years to expand its capacity. "We will have a generation capacity of over 10,000 MW by 2010," he said.
Tata Power will be spending close to Rs 17,000 crore for the 4,000 MW Mundra power project.
“We have already tied up with Barclays for the financial arrangements," Tata said.
About the group's projects in Bangladesh, Tata said it was still keen on them.
“We have decided to go to Bangladesh. But we have not received necessary approvals so far. Once we get clearances, we will activate the project," Tata said.