Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) has positioned itself for involvement in the country’s growing nuclear sector while India’s cooperation deals in this field continued.India’s national oil company has recently joined…
with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) in a memorandum of understanding “for partnership in setting up nuclear power plants in India.”
30 Units in Offing
India’s nuclear sector is in the early stages of a construction boom. Three reactors of domestic design are nearing completion at Rajastan and Kaiga, while two large Russian units are being built at Kudankulam. On top of this will come a major expansion based on imported technology with Areva, GE-Hitachi, and Westinghouse already lined up to provide as many as six or eight large reactors each. Two more Russian units are already agreed, taking the total potential build to around the 30 unit mark.
However, no commercial contracts for reactors have been completed because India has not yet passed an appropriate nuclear liability law or brought into force its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Similarly, a legislative change is required before privately owned companies can take stakes in nuclear facilities. A number of power companies and industrial interests have been circling the new nuclear opportunities and NPCIL has already signed a memo with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to form a nuclear joint venture.
Indian Oil Corporation is the largest company in India. Serving national interests in accordance with government policies is among its official objectives, as is taking all viable opportunities arising out of the government policy.
Meanwhile, yet another nuclear deal has been signed in New Delhi, envisaging cooperation in fusion research between India and the European Union. The agreement concerned the exchange of information and data and enabling the participation of specialists in different research activities.
One notable country that has not completed a bilateral nuclear cooperation deal with India is major uranium exporter Canada. An official visit of the Canadian Prime Minister scheduled for 16-18 November is expected to yield this agreement, and at the same time provide an opportunity for Cameco and NPCIL to agree a major supply contract.