Indian Nuclear Joint Venture Agreement Signed
An agreement to create a joint venture for the construction of new nuclear power plants in India by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), India's largest power company.
Under the deal, a joint venture company will be set up as a subsidiary of NPCIL, in which NPCIL will hold a 51% stake and NTPC will hold the remainder. The arrangement was signed off today in Delhi by S K Jain, chairman and managing director of NPCIL, and R S Sharma, chairman and managing director of NTPC. The signing follows a memorandum of understanding in February 2009 to establish the joint venture.
Although the financial details of the joint venture were not disclosed, Indian media had estimated that investment in the joint venture would total some 150 billion rupees ($3.1 billion) over the next eight years. Details of the project, such as the location and types of the plants to be constructed, will be finalised later.
In March 2008, NTPC's board of directors approved a proposal to amend its association documents to allow the use of nuclear power. At the end of October 2008, the board approved a proposal to approach NPCIL with a view to signing a memorandum of understanding towards new nuclear projects. NTPC has already made clear its intention to operate 2000 MWe of nuclear capacity by 2017.
The NPCIL-NTPC joint venture will be the first joint venture in nuclear power generation in India. Several private companies in India have expressed an interest in entering the nuclear power generating business, possibly through joint ventures with NPCIL.
Presently, only NPCIL and Bhavini - a government enterprise set up to focus on fast breeder reactors - are authorized to construct nuclear power plants in India. Current legislation calls for NPCIL to hold a majority stake in any nuclear power plant project. It is expected, however, that the rules will be changed in time to allow other competent companies to control nuclear infrastructure.
Researched and written by World Nuclear News
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