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India, France to start Jaitapur nuclear power plant work by end-2018

EBR Staff Writer Published 12 March 2018

India and France have pledged to begin work at the planned 9.6GW Jaitapur nuclear power plant in the western Indian state of Maharashtra by the end of this year.

The Jaitapur nuclear power project, owned by Nuclear Power Corp of India (NPCIL), is to be built with an investment of Rs1.12tn ($17bn) in Jaitapur.

A commitment towards moving the project forward was reached during a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the former’s official tour of India.

Both Modi and Macron want NPCIL and EDF to speed up the contractual discussions to set up the new power plant in India, which will comprise six nuclear power reactor units.

An agreement signed in this regard by India and France, represented by Department of Atomic Energy Secretary Sekhar Basu and EDF CEO Jean Bernard Levy, respectively, has prescribed a way forward for the execution of the Jaitapur nuclear power project.

Expected to be the largest nuclear power plant in the world upon its installation, the Jaitapur project is expected to help India reach its goal of 40% non-fossil energy by 2030.

In early 2016, EDF had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NPCIL to develop six European pressurized reactors (EPRs) for the Jaitapur nuclear power project.

Originally, Areva, a French state-controlled nuclear reactor manufacturer had signed an initial agreement with NPCIL in 2010 for the Jaitapur nuclear power project as part of a civil nuclear cooperation accord between India and France.

Following the restructuring of Areva, EDF took over the responsibility of supplying reactors to the Indian project having acquired a stake of 75.5% in the former’s nuclear reactor construction business Areva NP.

The Jaitapur nuclear power project will be financed by a group of French financial institutions in the form of a loan with both India and France agreeing to give it sovereign guarantee.

Image: Computer generated image of the EPR to be installed for the Jaitapur nuclear power plant. Photo: courtesy of Framatome ANP/Wikipedia.org.