India and France are expected to enter into an agreement to promote investment and technology transfer in the renewable energy segment.
France will encourage investments in renewable energy by French companies, while also promoting sharing of technology. Also, Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) and Areva will enter into an early works contract for supply of two nuclear reactors of 1,650 Mw each. The proposed agreements are expected to be signed during French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to India during December 3-7.
Officials at the commerce ministry and the Indo French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who did not wish to be quoted, told Business Standard, “The French government has already set a target of raising the installed capacity for wind power from 810 Mw in 2006 to 25,000 Mw by 2020. Also, installed capacity for photovoltaic power is to increase from 32.7 Mw in 2006 to 3,000 Mw by 2020.”
“French companies can play a major role in India’s proposed wind and solar capacity addition plans. At present, against the total installed capacity of over 1,40,000 Mw, renewable energy contributes a mere 10,000-14,000 Mw,” said an official. They added the proposed agreement would be similar to the pact between India and the US that aimed to promote investment and technology sharing in renewable energy.
Sources said NPC and Areva were in the final stages of completing the early works contract for the Jaitapur project, adding it could be signed any time during the French president’s visit. The early contract is essential to start the implementation of the 10,000-Mw nuclear project at Jaitapur in Maharashtra. NPC will subsequently enter into other technical contracts and start construction by March 2011.
According to Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) sources, the French President will hold an interactive session with the league members on December 7. “Discussions are expected to revolve around increasing trade and investment in civil nuclear, infrastructure, manufacturing and engineering, auto, telecom and aviation sectors,” said a source. A meeting is being convened on November 30 to finalise the French President’s programme in Mumbai. It will be attended by officials of the French embassy, the consulate, the Maharashtra government, police and chambers of commerce and industry.
Indo French Chamber of Commerce and Industry officials said France was keen to directly invest in manufacturing projects in India. “So far, its presence is in ancilliaries, environment, research and development. However, France wants to invest in manufacturing, like Germany and other countries,” said a source.
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