Indian firms negotiating nuke commerce with French cos

Indian firms negotiating nuke commerce with French cos

Paris: With India receiving an NSG waiver, several homegrown firms have lined up investments worth Rs1,00,000 crore for foraying into nuclear power generation and are negotiating deals with companies from France.

“Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has already done exploratory meetings and technical discussions with three global reactor suppliers including Areva of France," Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Secretary General Amit Mitra said.

The FICCI is fielding a 85-member delegation for the India-EU Business Summit here on 30 September.

The business summit, to coincide with the India-EU political summit, will be addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Business leaders from India and the European Union, the country’s largest trading partner, would participate in the meeting.

Mitra said: “While Tata Power Company has tied up with major nuclear equipment suppliers like Areva and established a relationship with Toshiba, several other Indian firms including Reliance Infra and Larsen and Toubro are working on their nuclear power generation plans."

While generation of atomic energy is restricted to the public sector in India, the government is seriously considering opening it for the private sector once the Indo-US deal gets into implementation.

Earlier this month, French Minister of State for External Trade Anne Marie Idrac had said in New Delhi that the NSG waiver opened the way for France to sign a bilateral agreement with India. “India needs to look at allowing private sector participation for realising its plan of adding 60,000 MW of nuclear power. This will require an investment of over Euro 97 billion,“ Mitra said.

Referring to the bilateral trade with France, the two countries have fixed an ambitious target of reaching Euro 12 billion by 2012. It was Euro 5 billion Euros in 2006-07.

The two countries are also looking for cooperation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The FICCI has brought here a business delegation from the SME sector to build linkages.