EDF inks preliminary agreement to build six nuclear plants in India

27/01/2016 00:23 Electricity Market

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French utility EDF declared on Tuesday it had inked a preliminary deal with Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) to construct six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur, in the west of India.

EDF is taking over the long-postponed project, which might turn into the world's huge nuclear agreement, from fellow French state-controlled group Areva, which will vend its reactor unit to EDF later this year. The Jaitapur project is at the primary technical studies stage after obtaining initial environmental approval in 2010, according to EDF. An accord for pre-engineering studies was signed by Areva and NPCIL last April. EDF declared that in the next few months it would go on with the work started by Areva and NPCIL to get authorization for the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) reactor in India and to settle the economic and financial conditions. The six 1650 megawatt EPR reactors with a total capacity of approximately 10,000 MW would make Jaitapur one of the world's largest nuclear sites and the deal, if concluded, one of the biggest in the history of the nuclear industry. Nevertheless Indian legislation on manufacturer's responsibility has long blocked French, US and Russian nuclear projects in the country. General Electric Chairman Jeff Immelt announced in September that GE will not make any investment in atomic energy in India until accident liability laws are brought in line with international practice. Following 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, India's parliament ratified a law six years ago that makes equipment providers liable for an accident. French President Francois Hollande, making a state visit to India, made known on Monday that a deal to build the six nuclear reactors must be settled within a year. EDF also mentioned that its EDF Energies Nouvelles division had decided to collaborate with India's SITAC to construct four onshore wind farms by the end of 2016 with a total capacity of 142 MW in the state of Gujarat.

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