Indian companies sign agreement for nuclear plant construction

02 May 2023

The supplementary joint venture agreement between NTPC - the country's largest integrated energy company - and government enterprise Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is for the development of six 700 MWe pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) across two sites.

The agreement was signed in New Delhi on 1 May (Image: Ministry of Power and NTPC)

The joint venture company will "initially" develop two 700 MWe PHWRs at Chutka in Madhya Pradesh and four at Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan. These are amongst a list of ten PHWR reactors that have already been accorded administrative approval and financial sanction to be built in "fleet mode".

Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy RK Singh was one of the dignitaries who witnessed the signing of the agreement in New Delhi. "Signing of this joint venture is a move towards augmenting our nuclear power capacity. India has come of age. The power demand of the country is growing rapidly and we need to increase our generation capacity in tandem with the demand. Since we are transitioning, we need to add more green energy and this venture will help as achieve the same," he said.

State-owned NTPC is India's largest power utility with an installed capacity of 71,644  MWe (of which 12,615 MWe is through joint ventures and subsidiaries) and a generation portfolio including coal, gas, hydro, solar and wind. The company plans to increase its generation capacity to some 130 GWe by 2032.  It proposed including nuclear capacity in its fleet as long ago as 2007, and agreed in 2010 to set up a joint venture with NPCIL - although it was not until 2015 that India's Atomic Energy Act was amended to enable NPCIL to form joint ventures with other Indian public sector undertakings, or PSUs, such as NTPC.

NPCIL, part of the Department of Atomic Energy, is responsible for the design, construction, commissioning and operation of nuclear power reactors in India.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News