'Commissioning of Jaitapur plant not before 2021'

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, Paris
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  • Updated: Oct 20, 2013 01:29 IST

The Jaitapur nuclear power project in Maharashtra, against which local residents and activist groups have been protesting, may only be commissioned by 2021 at the earliest, says Areva the French nuclear group.

Even as Areva announced on Wednesday its plans to join the EDF-led consortium that plans to build a nuclear plant in Hinkley Point UK, it is still looking eagerly for reaching an agreement on all technical and commercial terms of contract with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) for the Jaitapur nuclear plant.

“Early Works Agreement (EWA) has already been signed in. However adjustment of scope and start of EWA activities are still under discussion with the NPCIL. If we can start the project this year with the early works as per the EWA, then the first unit of Jaitapur nuclear power plant will be commissioned by 2021 at the earliest,” a diplomat  of Areva  told HT.

The Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project is a proposed 9900 MW power project of NPCIL. French nuclear engineering firm Areva SA and NPCIL  signed this $9.3 billion agreement. It is proposed to construct 6 European Pressurized Reactors developed by Areva.When in February 2009 Areva and NPCIL signed a Memorandum of Understanding that opened the way for a partnership in nuclear power generation, in order  to build up to six EPRs on Jaitapur site, the   start of commercial operation of the 1st unit was planned in 2017, he added.

Admitting there had been a delay in the supply of reactors, he said: “ The main reason for the delay was the Fukushima accident. Now we are striving to finalize the deal as quickly as possible.”

‘We know how great the need is for electricity in India, and how much any further delay will penalise the population. But the final say is with the customer’, the diplomat added.

(The journalist is in France at the invitation of French embassy as a precursor to India-France tech summit on October 23)

France seeks more funding

Paris: While France is still to see a robust business investment from India, the French government is hopeful that the  new law that allows more flexibility can facilitate more Indian companies to invest.

“The number of Indian investments has  been declining since 2010. It was 12 in 2010 and 2011 but reduced to 9 in 2012,” says Serge Boscher, Managing Director of Invest in France Agency.

 “France is not always perceived as a business-oriented destination for Indian investors who look for more labour flexibility. We have an office in Delhi that can facilitate prospective investors,”he added.

(HT Correspondent)


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