NTPC, NPCIL sign pact for power projects

Public sector giants Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and National Thermal Power Corp on Tuesday signed a joint venture agreement to set up nuclear power projects. NPCIL chairman and managing director SK Jain and NTPC chairman and managing director RS Sharma signed the agreement in New Delhi, according to a press release.

The JV agreement envisages incorporation of a company for setting up nuclear power projects in the country. NPCIL will have 51 per cent equity in the new company, and the remaining 49 per cent will be held by NTPC.

The JV company is expected to be operational in a couple of months.

Among those present at the signing ceremony were minister for power Sushilkumar Shinde, minister of state for science and technology Prithviraj Chavan, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission Srikumar Banerjee and power secretary Harishankar Brahma.

Till now only NPCIL and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam were authorised to set up nuclear power projects. NTPC, a new player in nuclear power, had signed a memorandum of understanding with NPCIL in February last year to incorporate a joint venture company to set up nuclear projects.

NTPC, a 'navaratna' or prized public sector enterprise, in its corporate plan has envisaged setting up new nuclear power projects aggregating about 2,000 mw of capacity by 2017. At present, the nuclear power capacity in the country is for 4,560 mw, the bulk of it being generated by NPCIL.

NPCIL is setting up seven nuclear power reactors of 5,020 mw. While three reactors at Kaiga, one in Karnataka and two in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu are in advanced stages of completion, work on four pressurised heavy water reactors of 700 mw each, two units each at Kakrapar in Gujarat and at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan, has commenced this year.