NTPC Ltd, India’s largest power generation company, is looking for two more alternative locations in the country for setting up a 2,000-megawatt equivalent (MWe) nuclear power project in the country. The company has already identified two sites in Tamil Nadu where the plant can be located.
The company is doing this because it wants to identify the best location possible; at the same time, it has been inundated with requests from various states. It is presently looking for alternatives in the western, northern and eastern regions of the country.
“We are looking for two more sites as we want to do an exhaustive comparative analysis. We are also under pressure from different states to set up our project there. In fact, Maharashtra has been asking us for a long time to set up our project there. It has become a bit political in nature,” said an NTPC executive, who did not want to be identified.
The project with an investment tag of Rs14,000 crore is expected to be completed in the 12th Plan (2012-17). NTPC has roped in former secretary of the Atomic Energy Commission S. Rajgopal and former executive director of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) V.K. Kaushik, as consultants.
“After identifying the site, we will appoint a consultant to help us evaluate various opportunities. We have been approached by General Electric and Areva to provide technology for setting up our project,” the executive added.
The company may also partner with NPCIL for a joint venture; one plan calls for NTPC to provide technical support and contract management on conventional turbo generator and auxiliaries, while NPCIL will pool in its expertise on the nuclear reactor block. NTPC is also awaiting the finalization of the civilian nuclear partnership between India and the United States.
NTPC has an installed power generation capacity of 26,904MW, which is 21% of the total installed capacity in the country. Nuclear power contributes only a very small share of 3.05% in the total installed power generation capacity of 1.28 lakh MW in the country. According to a report by audit firm KPMG, the share of nuclear energy in the total power generation is expected to increase to 10% in 2032 and 20% in 2050.
Other Indian companies that have evinced interest in setting up nuclear power projects include Tata Power Company, Vedanta Resources and Reliance Energy Ltd.