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Govt seeks nuclear power investment worth USD 26 bln from private firms

Tuesday, 20 Feb 2024
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The government will invite private firms to invest approx. USD 26 billion in the nuclear energy sector to increase the amount of electricity from sources that do not produce carbon dioxide emissions.

In this regard, the government is in talks with at least five private firms, including Reliance Industries (RIL), Tata Power, Adani Power and Vedanta, to invest around Rs 44,000 crore each. This is the first time the government is pursuing private investment in nuclear power. The funding would help India to achieve its target of having 50 percent of its installed electric generation capacity use non-fossil fuels by 2030, up from 42 percent now.

Under the funding plan, the private companies will invest in the nuclear plants, acquire land, water and undertake construction in areas outside the reactor complex of the plants. However, the rights to build and run the stations and their fuel management will rest with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), as allowed under the law. The private companies are expected to earn revenue from the power plant's electricity sales and NPCIL would operate the projects for a fee.

With the investment, the government seeks to build 11,000 MW of new nuclear power generation capacity by 2040. The plan will not require any amendment to India's Atomic Energy Act of 1962 but will need a final go-ahead from the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

Earlier, DAE and Nuclear Power Corp of India (NPCIL) held multiple rounds of discussions with the private companies on the investment plan. NPCIL owns and operates India's current fleet of nuclear power plants, with a capacity of 7,500 MW, and has committed investments for another 1,300 MW.

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