April 7, 2012 1:27:13 am
While private players may not be allowed in as operators of nuclear projects in the country anytime soon,there is increased private sector play across equipment packages in case of new atomic power projects being set up in the country. These include participation in critical equipment such as the manufacture of reactor vessels or calandria,endshields and primary piping.
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has commenced construction of two nuclear power projects KAPP 3 & 4 (2 x 700 MW) at Kakrapar in Gujarat and RAPP 7&8 (2 x 700 MW) at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan,where major contracts are entirely been entrusted to private players such as L&T,WIL,Godrej and HCC,along with state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). NPCIL invites bids for each of these packages through the open tender process and evaluation of the bids is carried out as per the criteria designed in the tender document,with the contract being awarded to the lowest techno-commercial offer.
While players such as L&T,HCC and BHEL have been involved in equipment supplies and EPC (engineering,procurement and construction) contracts at existing indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors,the capability and capacity of Indian industry is now being further augmented through joint ventures in order to meet the ambitious targets of 20,000 MWe set for 2020. A joint venture for turbo generators of 700 MWe is proposed to be set up between NPCIL,BHEL and Alstom,France. A joint venture between NPCIL and L&T has been incorporated to manufacture special steels and forgings required for manufacture of nuclear components.
Currently,nuclear power projects in the country are set up by NPCIL and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI),public sector undertakings (PSUs) under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). The Atomic Energy Act,1962,requires nuclear power generation to be done by a government company in which at least 51 per cent of shares are held by the Central government.
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The Act,however,enables limited participation of the private sector firms,in the manufacture of nuclear equipment and other supply chain activities,including construction. Tata Power,Reliance Power,JSW,GMR,Lanco and Videocon were among the private players that have announced plans to enter the sector as potential operators or projects.
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