The government-owned National Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL) signed an Industrial Way Forward Agreement with French power company EDF for the implementation of six EPR reactors at the Jaitapur in Maharashtra.
In addition to the framework agreement with NPCIL, EDF has also signed two cooperation agreements with French and Indian industrial players, setting out the operational foundations for the Jaitapur project. The first such agreement has been signed with Assystem, Egis, Reliance and Bouygues and covers the installation of an engineering platform for studies that fall within the scope of the Jaitapur project. Over the coming months, under the terms of the agreement, the five companies will define the rules for collaborative work with a view to creating a joint-venture.
EDF will hold 51 per cent of the joint-venture and will be responsible for engineering integration. The collaborative work aims to reinforce the project’s competitivity and ensure increased participation from local companies.
The second agreement, signed with Larsen&Toubro, AFCEN and Bureau Veritas, covers the creation of a training centre compliant with standards for the design and construction of equipment for the nuclear industry (RCC codes). The objective is to train local companies on the technical standards applicable to the manufacture of equipment for the Jaitapur project.
Jaitapur is set to be the biggest nuclear project in the world, with a total planned power capacity of around 10 GW. The agreement defines the project’s industrial framework, the roles and responsibilities of the partners, as well as a planned timetable for the next steps.
Under the terms of the agreement, EDF will act as a supplier of the EPR technology. EDF will undertake all engineering studies and all component procurement activities for the first two reactors. For the other four units, the responsibility for some purchasing activities and studies may be assigned to local companies. EDF will also provide NPCIL with its valuable experience from the construction of EPR reactors.
In its capacity as owner and future operator of the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant, NPCIL shall be responsible for obtaining all authorisations and certifications required in India, and for constructing all six reactors and site infrastructures. EDF and its industrial partners will assist NPCIL during the construction phase.
This industrial framework has already been approved in India and will be bolstered by the complementary skills and experience of the partners involved. In this manner, the knowledge and expertise required to operate the plant can be readily shared. It will also pave the way for the industrial involvement of Indian companies in the project, opening up possibilities for partnerships within the French nuclear power sector. In this way, the project will be developed in line with Indian policies “Make in India” and “Skill India”, with the ever-increasing participation of local companies, reaching a potential 60 per cent for last two of the six reactors.
The framework agreement has provisions for a preliminary tender by EDF to be submitted in the weeks following its signature, with the objective of producing a binding EDF tender towards the end of 2018.
Jean-Bernard Levy, the EDF Chairman and CEO stated: The industrial agreement just signed with NPCIL marks a decisive step in the development of the Jaitapur nuclear project, meaning we can now envisage with confidence the rest of this essential project for India and for EDF. We are proud to support the Indian government in its objective of achieving an energy mix that is 40 per cent carbon-free in 2030. Our presence in India, already tangible in the areas of renewable energies and smart city is a perfect illustration of our CAP 2030 strategy, which aims to develop a low-carbon mix and innovative energy services for urban and rural areas”.
Jaitapur is the flagship project of India-France nuclear collaboration. Acting as head of the French nuclear power sector, EDF entered into exclusive negotiations with NPCIL in 2016 and in the same year it issued its first technical-commercial proposal for the development and construction of six EPRs. Jaitapur is in Maharashtra state and will be the largest nuclear power site in the world. EPR reactors — with a generating capacity of 1,600 Mw per unit — are particularly suitable for a country undergoing rapid growth and equipped with a mature electricity system such as in India.