Coal India, NPC mull JV for nuclear power

Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) is in talks with government-owned Coal India, the country’s largest coal producer, on the latter’s plans to enter the atomic power sector through a joint venture.

NPC has launched a programme to increase capacity to 63,000 Mw by 2032 and Coal India is expected to produce 460 million tonnes coal yearly by March 2012.

NPC’s chairman and managing director, S K Jain told Business Standard: “Coal India would pump in money towards equity with NPC for various nuclear projects. Typically, nuclear projects are developed on a 70:30 debt to equity ratio. Of the Rs 2 lakh crore investment, the equity requirement is Rs 70,000 crore and Coal India’s investment will be quite crucial. We will have the next meeting in this month.”

He said Coal India had yet to take a decision on how much it would contribute to equity. “However, I strongly hope it will be substantial, after taking into consideration its successful IPO (public offer).”

Apart from equity, said an NPC official, Coal India can provide help in uranium mining, as the latter has expertise in exploration and mining of open cast and underground coal mines.

So far, NPC has formed JVs with Indian Oil Corporation, National Aluminium (Nalco), with a combine of Bharat Heavy Electricals and Alstom, and with NTPC. It is to enter into a similar arrangement with Steel Authority of India and Indian Railways. Jain said IOC had indicated it would be able to contribute Rs 10,000 crore towards equity. Nalco is expected to contribute Rs 4,000-5,000 crore in its JV.

The JV with NTPC to set up at least two reactors of 1,000 Mw each. The arrangement with BHEl-Alstom is to provide technical support and supply turbines to nuclear power projects in India.

NPC also has a JV with Larsen & Toubro to produce special steels and ultra heavy forgings. The JV company was incorporated as a subsidiary of L&T, with NPC holding 26 per cent of the paid-up capital. The JV would supply finished forgings for nuclear reactors, pressurizers and steam generators, in addition to heavy forgings for critical equipment in the hydrocarbon sector and for thermal power plants.

Source – Business Standard

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SUMIT KUMAR

Executive at India Electron Exchange

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