US President Donald Trump's Visit Expected To Kickstart Nuclear Project In Coastal Andhra Pradesh
Unites States energy firm Westinghouse Electric Company, is expected to sign an agreement with Nuclear Power Corporation of India for the supply of six nuclear reactors during the US President Donald Trump's visit this week.
According to The Indian Express report, a viable proposal would lead to the initiation of a commercial agreement with Westinghouse Electric, which would pave the way for the commencement of work on the project in Andhra Pradesh.
Westinghouse Electric Company is a flagbearer of the US nuclear sector, alongside the GE-Hitachi combine.
India and the US had signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement, in March 2019. According to Officials' indication "techno-commercial discussion to arrive at a project proposal … have made steady progress" and a fresh pact, which builds on the existing agreement is expected to be inked during Trump's visit.
The project which will comprise six AP-1000 reactor units of 1208 MWe (megawatt electric) capacity each, is proposed to be set up at Kovvada on the eastern Andhra coast, about 260 km from Vishakhapatnam.
The cost and schedule will be decided upon finalisation of the proposal and the administrative approval and financial sanction by the government.
It is believed that the Department of Atomic Energy is working on a report, in consultation with the Atomic Energy Commission, to amend the Consolidated FDI Policy, which prohibits foreign investment in the atomic energy sector.
The Union Cabinet had, in May 2017, concurred an "in principle" approval for establishing the six AP 1000 reactors in collaboration with WEC.
"The discussions to arrive at project proposals to set up nuclear power projects with foreign cooperation involve complex technical, commercial, legal, regulatory and other issues, which take time for conclusion. The project proposal will put the nuclear project in execution mode," an official was quoted as saying.
Reportedly, Trump is desperately seeking a bilateral trade with India for a to gain a greater market for the US products from farm goods to motorcycles. Trump had earlier said that the US will sign a big deal with India but probably after the US presidential elections. Now negotiators are trying to put together a limited trade deal before the big agreement.
India expects to generate 22,480 MW of electricity from nuclear stations by 2031 up from the 2019 level of 6780 MW.