Indigenous 700MW reactors to generate Rs 70,000 crore orders for industry.
New Delhi: In a boost to the country’s nuclear power production, the Centre on Wednesday cleared the proposal to build 10 atomic reactors indigenously, that are expected to ensure orders worth Rs 70,000 crores for domestic industry.
The Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) will be developed by the department of atomic energy and will have an individual capacity of 700 MW each. The Union Cabinet cleared the proposal at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It also approved a new coal linkage policy under which fuel supply to the power sector will be either through the auction route or power purchase pact via competitive bidding of tariffs. The move may ease stress on account of non-availability of linkages to power sector projects.
India now has installed nuclear power capacity of 6,780 MW from 22 operational plants. Another 6,700 MW of nuclear power is expected to be added by 2021-22, when under-construction projects go onstream in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
The 10 reactors will be at Mahi Banswara (Rajasthan), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), Kaiga (Karnataka) and Gorakhpur (Haryana).
“As the government marks three years of its nation- and people-centric governance, in a first-of-its-kind project for India’s nuclear power sector, the 10 new units will come up in fleet mode as a fully homegrown initiative. It would be one of the flagship Make in India projects in this sector,” an official statement said.
The building of these reactors indigenously is likely to ensure manufacturing orders worth about Rs 70,000 crores for domestic companies. Also, the project is expected to help transform India’s nuclear industry and generate over 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect employment, minister of state for power and coal Piyush Goyal told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
“The Cabinet’s decision reflects the government’s commitment to prioritise the use of clean power in India’s energy mix, as part of low-carbon growth strategy and to ensure long-term base load requirement for the nation’s industrialisation,” he said.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs headed by the Prime Minister also cleared the coal linkage policy.
“In this adequate coal availability scenario, the present policy proposes a fading away of the old linkage allocation policy and emergence of a new linkage policy based on transparent and objective criteria for the optimal utilisation of the natural resources,” an official statement said.
Allocation of linkages for the power sector will be based on auction of linkages or through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) based on competitive bidding of tariffs except for state and the Central power generating firms and exceptions provided in Tariff Policy 2016, it added.
The PPA is a contract between two parties, one which generates electricity and one which will purchase it.