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NTPC, the largest power producer in the country, is set to sign a joint venture (JV) agreement with Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) in Mumbai. This will be the first JV in nuclear power generation in the country that would end NPCIL’s monopoly in the sector. So far NPCIL, a wholly-owned government company, is the sole agency generating nuclear power in country.

“The proposed JV has already been approved by the boards of both the companies and endorsed by the department of atomic energy (DAE) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The MoU would now pave the way for this JV between the PSUs,” an official of the power ministry said.

As per the proposal, NPCIL will hold the majority 51% equity in the JV while NTPC will hold the remaining 49% equity. The JV will set up a 2,000 mw nuclear power plant on a location to be finalised later. With current average cost of building a nuclear plant ranging between Rs 7 - 8 crore per mw, setting up a 2,000-MW plant would require an investment about Rs 14,000-16,000 crore. This is around 33% higher than a thermal plant with a similar size.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India is also likely to form a similar joint venture with APGenco (Andhra Pradesh Generation Company). The proposal in this regard, however, is in initial stages of discussion. The current nuclear power generation capacity of the country is 4,120 mw.

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