New York: Engineering and site-design work is set to begin immediately for six Westinghouse Electric Co. nuclear power plants in India, as part of the world’s second most populous nation’s efforts to curb emissions from fossil fuels.

The contract is the first under a US-India civil nuclear accord reached in 2008, John Morton, White House senior director for energy and climate change, said during a conference call Tuesday. The agreement set a deadline of June 2017 to finalize the contract for the project between Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd and Westinghouse, a unit of Toshiba Corp.

“Once completed this project will fill the promise of the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement and importantly will create and sustain 10,000 job here in the U.S. and in India," Morton said. The US and India released a joint agreement Tuesday expressing support for the project in Gujarat.

India and the US Export-Import Bank are working on a package to finance the project. Westinghouse did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

The project will use AP1000 reactors, each with a capacity of 1,150 megawatts. It will help India limit carbon emissions as it works toward quadrupling its annual electricity production by 2030 to as much as 4.5 trillion kilowatt-hours. The endorsement from the White House indicates that President Barack Obama’s administration sees nuclear power as important to curbing climate change.

In the joint agreement, the US and India also reaffirmed their commitments to the Paris climate agreement. The nations also pledged $60 million to promote development of clean energy in India. Bloomberg

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