Power tariff at Jaitapur will be competitive: Areva

French reactor manufacturer Areva SA hopes to keep the price of electricity generated from the proposed Jaitapur atomic project within “competitive levels” by delegating a fair share of work to state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and leveraging the expertise of local vendors to cap overall project cost.

Areva, which recently wrapped up an agreement valued at €7 billion (Rs 42,000 crore) with NPCIL to supply two nuclear reactors and fuel for the Jaitapur project, has been under fire for major delays and cost-overruns at two of the four sites globally where its third-generation EPR reactors are being installed. While EPRs reactors being set up in Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France are facing delays, work on a couple of units in Taishan, China, has commenced recently.

Mr Arthur De Montalembert, Chairman and Managing Director, Areva India Ltd, told Business Line that the company is working on a bevy of measures to ensure that the Jaitapur project stays on track, both in terms of the construction time and the cost aspects. For one, the company plans to keep the proposed project in coastal Maharashtra as close as possible to the French reference plant (Flamanville 3) to avoid redesign and re-engineering costs.

Besides, Areva and NPCIL have worked out an “economically efficient” distribution of the scope of work, with much of the work on the secondary parts of the plant set to be managed directly by NPCIL. Areva also plans to leverage local expertise and has already tied up with Bharat Forge to build a forged parts manufacturing plant in India and with Tata firm TCE Consulting Engineers Ltd for engineering services. “The experience gained by Areva on the early EPR projects is being leveraged on later ones… Also, planned outages for refuelling and maintenance at an EPR reactor plant are expected to be much shorter than for previous generation reactor models, resulting in operational cost savings,” he said.

Areva plans to set up two EPR reactors, each with an output in excess of 1,600 MWe, at Jaitapur. The commissioning is scheduled for late 2017 and end of 2018. Within the scope of the site development plan, NPCIL expects Jaitapur to accommodate up to six units.

Licensing process on

NPCIL has commenced the licensing process for Areva’s EPR reactor in India. The firm has passed on a 1,000-page technical specification document called the Technical Assignment with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board after wrapping up discussions with Areva.

The document establishes NPCIL’s needs and the conditions imposed on it by domestic regulations.

Areva had earlier submitted an early works agreement to NPCIL to launch initial design and book the manufacturing capacities needed for the major components for the project.

A final contract is expected to be signed by NPCIL and Areva later this year.

Source – Business Line



Executive at India Electron Exchange

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