ECONOMY BUREAU, December 01, 2006
MUMBAI, NOV 30: US companies involved in nuclear energy are bullish over the approval to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal by the Senate, and indicated that they would like to participate in India’s $50-billion programme for nuclear capacity addition of 50,000 mw by 2030.
The state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), which runs nuclear projects with the capacity of 3,900 mw, has already lined up a capacity addition of 20,000 mw by 2020.
US nuclear companies participating in the US delegation, led by under secretary for commerce Franklin Lavin, also stated that India’s skilled manpower could be of great use in building new nuclear plants in the US and other parts of the world.
The companies are involved in constructing nuclear plants and supplying nuclear fuel. They claimed that the per-unit tariff from the plants would be quite cheap. In the US, it is 2 cents a kw, while NPCIL sells it below Re 1 in India.
Companies like Westinghouse Electric, Transco products Inc, BWXT, WM Mining, Fluor and Thorium Power on Thursday said their mission to develop and nurture bonds with the Indian firms would lead to partnerships, enabling them to tap new opportunities in the sector.
Ron Somers, president of US India Business Council said these companies would also discuss the regulatory regime with the NPCIL and the Atomic Energy Commission, during their meetings slated for Friday and Saturday.
Craig S Hansen, vice-president of BWXT said the US proposed to increase its share of nuclear energy from 20% of the country's total power capacity to 30% by 2030, and it would not be possible for the American companies alone to achieve this.
“India, with experienced manpower and experts, can play a major role in the US capacity addition. Besides, US companies associated in the supply of nuclear fuel and reactors will play a key role in India’s capacity addition. On top of it, both Indian and US companies can join hands to meet the nuclear energy requirement in the underdeveloped countries,” he added.
Wallace M Mays, president of WM Mining, which is involved in uranium mining and supply, said his company has already entered into an agreement with Hyderabad-based Nuclear Fuel Centre for supply of uranium for pressurised heavy water reactors.
Wiliam E Cummins, vice-president of Westinghouse said India would not face any funding problems for the proposed capacity addition.
“Already NPCIL has announced it can add at least 1,000 mw, annually, through its internal accruals. In addition to this, NPCIL has also indicated that it will explore market options also,” he added.