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DAE welcomes Kerry's Sept deadline for Mithi Virdi deal

The project depends on aggreement on capital investment, financial mechanism and tariff

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has welcomed the deadline of September set by US Secretary of State John Kerry for finalisation of a commercial agreement between the Indian government’s Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) and Westinghouse Electric for supply of a reactor for the proposed nuclear project in Gujarat.

NPC and Westinghouse had agreed on a preliminary contract in June 2012 for supply of the reactor, with generation capacity of 1,100 Mw for the project at Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar district. The Centre had given in-principle approval in 2009 for up to six imported 1,000 Mw light water reactors.

The Mithi Virdi project is expected to be completed in three stages, with the first two units in 2019-2020, the next two in 2021-2022 and the final stage in 2023-24.

A DAE official, who did not want to be identified, told Business Standard: “The commercial agreement between NPC and Westinghouse will be possible only after both arrive at a consensus on the capital investment, financial mechanism and the per-unit tariff (rate) for the power to be generated and supplied from Mithi Virdi. These are highly complex issues and need time. Further, the reactor design needs to be approved by Department of Atomic Energy and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.”

Engineers India Ltd has done an economy and social study to establish baseline environmental data for the project. It has also evaluated the potential impact and formulated environmental management plans for both the construction and operation phase.

NPC is also involved in negotiations with French energy giant Areva for the supply of two reactors, of 1,650 Mw each, for the Jaitapur project in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district.

Subsequently, four more reactors of the same capacity are to be supplied, to take up the total generation capacity to 9,900 Mw.

NPC is to also negotiate with GE-Hitachi for supply of six reactors of 1,500 Mw each for the proposed nuclear project at Kowada in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam district.

First Published: Wed, June 26 2013. 00:48 IST