Dr. S.K. Jain, Chairman and Managing Director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), and Mrs. Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of AREVA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 4 February 2009 in New Delhi. Signing of this MoU, will open the way for a future partnership in nuclear power generation in order to build at least 2 EPR™ reactors at Jaitapur in the western state of Maharashtra.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Prithviraj Chavan, Union Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office), Mrs. Anne-Marie Idrac, French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary to the Department of Atomic Energy.
The MOU has made it possible for technical co-operation between NPCIL and AREVA to work on the setting up of two to six AREVA-built EPR™ reactors on NPCIL’s Jaitapur site, including lifetime fuel supply for these units.
The MoU also provides for engagement of NPCIL and AREVA in the discussion for preparing the contract and related detail of setting up of two to six 1650 MWe EPRTM reactor units including life time fuel supply for these reactors. The MoU comes in wake of the bilateral agreement signed between India and France on 30th September, 2008, wherein two countries agreed to work together for the development of peaceful use of nuclear energy.
India is one of the fastest developing economies and requires huge addition in power generation to meet the ever growing demand for it. The country’s installed nuclear capacity could grow to 63 GWe by 2030.
That adds up to about 40 new nuclear reactors, worth some $80 billion, according to Dr. Jain. NPCIL is unique in having built, under one roof, comprehensive capability in all facets of nuclear technology namely – site selection, design, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance and life extension of nuclear power plants.
NPCIL already has 17 units in operation with a total installed capacity of 4,120 MWe and is currently building five units with a total installed capacity of 2,660 MWe.
AREVA is amongst global leaders in nuclear power front end and back end activities and manufacturing of heavy components. AREVA already has a strong presence in India through its AREVA T&D India subsidiary, which is the biggest local entity on the electricity transportation and distribution market. It also develops its offer in the generation of electricity from biomass, with AREVA Bioenergy. The group employs more than 4,200 people in India and has eight industrial sites.
Besides GE, Areva competes with Westinghouse Electric Co. and Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corp. to build new reactors in India. Rosatom is already helping India build two nuclear reactors.