Videocon, Jindal among 40 companies eying nuclear power projects

Mumbai: Videocon and the Sajjan Jindal Group are among 40-odd Indian companies looking for a share of nuclear power projects just as the Nuclear Suppliers Group gave the go-ahead to nuclear trade with India, industry body Assocham said on Monday.

''We have already asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to amend the legislations regarding nuclear power to facilitate the entry of private sector in generation of nuclear power,'' Venugopal Dhoot, past president of Assocham, said.

''This is a huge business opportunity for India as power is one of the booming sectors that requires maximum investment in near future,'' Dhoot said. ''There are power regulatory issues but we are hopeful that the government will come up with some mechanism to allow private player,'' he added.

About 40 companies are in talks with companies abroad to set up power plants, envisaging an investment of about Rs200,000 crore, Assocham secretary-general, D S Rawat said.

''As many as 40 companies have started negotiations, including Videocon and Sajjan Jindal Group and we are hoping in 15 years time maximum of Rs200,000 crore investment will be coming into the sector,'' Rawat said.

Together, the 40 companies propose to generate 40,000 MW of additional power, Dhoot said.

The government is expected to announce guidelines for setting up nuclear power projects shortly.

Assocham also hailed the collective diplomatic efforts that have led India to secure mandatory NSG waiver for signing civil nuclear cooperation deal with the US, describing it a resounding victory for India to take it out of decades-old nuclear technology denial regime.