FPJ Exclusive: Maharashtra seeks to put Jaitapur N-plant on track

FPJ Exclusive: Maharashtra seeks to put Jaitapur N-plant on track

The project with an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore was proposed in 2010 and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) had set up office. But work could not begin security guidelines changed after Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in March 2011.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Friday, November 04, 2022, 10:20 AM IST
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Jaitapur Nuclear power plant | File Photo

The Eknath Shinde Government has initiated talks with the Centre for early start of construction of the 9,900 MW nuclear power project at Jaitapur in Ratnagiri district.

The project with an investment of Rs1 lakh crore was proposed in 2010 and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) had even constructed a camp office. But work could not begin as the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in March 2011 changed all security-related parameters.

Industry Minister Uday Samant told The Free Press Journal, “The government has initiated talks with the Centre so that the construction begins at the earliest. The state will benefit the most with clear and assured power at competitive rates.”

Samant’s statement came after he announced that the state had initiated talks with the Centre to restart the 1,967 MW gas-based power project of Ratnagiri Gas Power Private Ltd, earlier known as the Dabhol power project.

Samant’s statement is important in the run-up to France’s President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India early next year. State Power Ministry sources said the technical, financial and civil nuclear liability issues pertaining to Jaitapur are likely to be resolved before Macron’s visit.

An e-mail sent to NPCIL remained unanswered. The French major AREVA, which was to supply six European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) of 1,650 MW each for the project, withdrew from it later.

French utility EDF made a legally binding offer to NPCIL to construct six EPRs at Jaitapur. A high-level EDF team visited India in May this year and had extensive discussions with NPCIL representatives.

Currently, NPCIL and EDF are engaged in techno-commercial negotiations to arrive at a deal for the supply of EPRs. In the wake of incorporation of additional security measures, the project cost is expected to rise and that will affect the power tariff.

NPCIL will be in charge of construction and commissioning of the units as well as obtaining all requisite permits in India. Its responsibility includes certification of EPR technology by the Indian nuclear regulator.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena was opposed to the project and has not changed its stand. On the other hand, the BJP, the Eknath Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, the NCP and Congress are not opposed to the project.

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