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Swedish N-Mission in India to Explore JVs in Safety

swedishA Swedish Business Delegation on Nuclear Technology and Safety Management arrived in India on April 14, 2009 headed by Ambassador of Sweden to India Lars-Olof Lindgren. The delegation, which comprises Swedish companies, technology providers, government agencies and research institutes within the area of nuclear energy, will focus on understanding the Indian nuclear energy market and exploring business opportunities where Sweden has an advantage.

“Nuclear power in Sweden has proved to be a technologically and economically a success. In India, the sector is on the threshold, ready for take-off. This provides huge opportunities for synergies in the area of Nuclear Energy and Management between the two countries. With this delegation, Sweden expands its ties with India, now also within the field of nuclear technology solutions,” says Ambassador Lingdren.

“India has recently boosted its nuclear power expansion and has an ambitious program to increase its capacity in this field. This is the right time for Swedish companies to explore emerging opportunities in the area of nuclear power,” he added.

Ambassador Lingdren said, “The delegation comprises of some of Sweden’s most prominent companies in the field of nuclear energy. The focus of the delegation will be to enhance understanding of the Indian nuclear energy sector, particularly in the area of nuclear operations safety, nuclear waste management and storage technology. Nuclear power in Sweden has proved to be technically and economically very successful. A large share of Sweden’s energy generation comes from nuclear power. There is a lot of scope for sharing experiences between Sweden and India.”

Among the members of the delegation include top-level officials from SKB International Consulting AB, Studsvik, ES-konsult, Swepro, Relcon Scandpower AB, SIBC, Sandvik, and Sweco.

In India, the delegation will travel to New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai and will meet government authorities, businesses and key research institutes.

In the recent past, several nuclear missions from all over the world have visited India after the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) lifting the restrictions on Indian trade in September 2008. The first nuclear trade mission was from US followed by one from UK.

The latest nuclear mission from Sweden’s will particularly focus on nuclear risk management in its discussions with Indian officials. Sweden is a leader in providing nuclear risk-management services.

Swedish companies like Sandvik, Sweco, SKB International AB and Relcon Scandpower AB will join France’s Areva and U.S.-based Westinghouse and General Electric Co. on the list of international companies interested in investing in India’s nuclear-power industry would be meeting Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar, as well as representatives from Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and private firms such as L&T Ltd and Tata Power.

Areva and GE Hitachi will supply nuclear reactors to India, and now the Swedish companies will offer engineering and construction services as well as risk management, nuclear-waste disposal management, and research and development.

 “The delegation is backed by the (Swedish) Government and we are keen to exploit the commercial opportunities arising from potential business engagements. It remains to be seen when the (Indian) nuclear sector is opened up (to private participation). But we are keen to tap the opportunities,” Ambassador Lindgren said.

He said that the Swedish companies that are part of the delegation have a presence in niche areas, including offering engineering and construction services as well as risk management, nuclear-waste disposal management, and research and development.

Main companies

Martin Syberg, Programme Manager with Studsvik, which is part of the delegation, said that Sweden is a leader in providing nuclear risk-management services and there is interest in cooperating with India on high-end sectors. The company is looking for opportunities in the nuclear waste management sector and fuel and material analysis.

SKB International Consulting, which is part of the delegation, also serves clients in the management of nuclear waste, covering all areas of spent fuel and radioactive waste management.

ES-konsult is an independent consulting company working for nuclear safety, project management and risk assessment sectors. Sweco is an international consulting engineering company that has done engineering work for Areva NP’s Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in Finland.

Sweden is among a growing list of countries doing a rethink on nuclear power as a source of energy amid concerns over global warming. The Swedish Government had, in February this year, decided to scrap a three-decade ban on building new nuclear reactors, saying it needs to avoid producing more greenhouse gases.