Construction has started on a steel manufacturing and heavy forging facility in Gujarat state, India, as part of a joint venture between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
|A plaque is unveiled during the ceremony at Hazira (Image: L&T)
During a ceremony on 9 January the foundation stone for the new facility was laid at L&T's existing manufacturing site in Hazira, Surat. The stone was laid jointly by S K Jain, chairman and managing director of NPCIL, and M V Kotwal, senior executive vice president (heavy engineering) and a member of the board of L&T. The ceremony was attended by S Banerjee, secretary of India's Department of Atomic Energy and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, as well as A M Naik, chairman and managing director of L&T.
IOC eyes 26% stake in power plant
India's national oil company, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), will take a 26% stake in a nuclear power plant to be constructed jointly with NPCIL, the company’s chairman told Business Standard.
IOC and NPCIL signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2009 to set up a 1000 MWe nuclear power plant in which NPCIL will hold at least a 51%.
"The discussion on location is going on. There are certain sites which they have studied for their plants," said Sarthak Behuria. He added, "Nuclear power offers a guaranteed return and enough opportunity for all of us. This will enable us to enter new vistas of the energy business."
IOC's director of business development, B M Bansal, recently said, "We see a lot of potential for nuclear power. In future, if the government allows, we can think of going alone into nuclear power."
The nuclear component joint venture between NPCIL and L&T was announced in late November.
The new facility will have a dedicated steel melt shop producing ingots of up to 600 tonnes, as well as a heavy forge shop equipped with a forging press that will be amongst the largest in the world. The facility will supply finished forgings for nuclear reactors, pressurizers and steam generators, and also heavy forgings for critical equipment in the hydrocarbon sector and for thermal power plants. The coastal location of the Hazira plant will also facilitate multi-modal transportation and export of parts produced at the joint venture facility.
In a joint statement, the companies said: "The new fully integrated facility will help develop India's capabilities in manufacturing critical components for the nuclear power and other core sector industries." They added, "Indigenous manufacture of forgings will close a critical gap in Indian industry's capability to produce equipment for nuclear, thermal power and hydrocarbon plants. It will enable a significant reduction in cycle times."
L&T is India's biggest engineering and construction company and makes reactor pressure vessels for the country's pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs), fast breeder reactor and steam generators. It has been involved in supply of equipment, systems and services for nearly all the PHWRs that have been indigenously built, including the manufacture of calandrias, end-shields, steam generators, primary heat transport system and heat exchangers.
NPCIL currently operates 17 nuclear power reactors in India with a total capacity of 4210 MWe and is constructing six units with an installed capacity of 3160 MWe. The company's 18th reactor - Rajasthan unit 5 - achieved criticality on 24 November 2009 and was synchronised to the grid before the end of last year.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News