NTPC’S foray into nu­clear en­ergy in DAE’S court

WITH LEG­ISLA­TIVE HUR­DLES CLEARED, THE GHAVP PROJECT IN HARYANA CAN BE AL­LO­CATED TO THE NTPC-NPCIL COM­BINE, SAY OF­FI­CIALS

Resource Digest - - CONTENTS -

NTPC’S ef­forts to get into nu­clear power have slowed down even as the pub­lic sec­tor power gen­er­a­tion be­he­moth is fo­cussing more on re­new­able en­ergy. A se­nior com­pany of­fi­cial said the un­cer­tainty due to higher tar­iff cost, along with some ear­lier ‘leg­isla­tive hur­dles’, are the rea­sons for lesser ex­cite­ment for nu­clear power projects.

Par­lia­ment cleared the amend­ment to the Atomic En­ergy Act 1962 on De­cem­ber 31, 2015. This al­lowed the joint ven­ture PSUS (pub­lic sec­tor un­der­take­ings) to build and op­er­ate nu­clear power plants.

IM­PACT OF DE­LAY

NTPC of­fi­cials said that ASHVINI — the joint ven­ture be­tween NTPC and Nu­clear Power Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia — was to be al­lo­cated the 2x700 MW Go­rakh­pur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariy­o­jana (GHAVP) project in Haryana. But due to de­lays in the amend­ment to the law, NPCIL de­cided to go ahead and build the plant it­self.

In 2010, the then Depart­ment of Atomic En­ergy (DAE) Sec­re­tary, Sriku­mar Ban­er­jee, had said that one of the sites iden­ti­fied by the DAE for the 2x700 MW plant would go to a NTPC and NPCIL joint ven­ture com­pany.

In 2011, NTPC-NPCIL formed the Anushakti Vid­hyut Nigam Ltd (ASHVINI) with the ob­jec­tive of build­ing nu­clear power plants.

But the JV could not be­gin build­ing nu­clear power plants as the Atomic En­ergy Act did not al­low joint ven­tures of PSUS for the same.

NTPC of­fi­cials say that the ex­pected power tar­iff from GHAVP is likely to be close to Rs. 10/kwh. Fur­ther, the plant will be com­mis­sioned in an­other 10 years.

HIGH COST A CON­CERN

As­sess­ing the sub­dued price of power in the coun­try and the low price of re­new­able en­ergy, of­fi­cials said that the high tar­iff cost will be of con­cern when the plant is com­mis­sioned.

Con­sid­er­ing that amend­ments to the Atomic En­ergy Act have been ap­proved, it is now the pre­rog­a­tive of the DAE to al­lo­cate GHAVP to ASHVINI, ac­cord­ing to NTPC of­fi­cials.

In 2014, the es­ti­mated cost of the en­tire project of 28 GW, to be built in two phases, was en­vis­aged at Rs. 20,594 crore.

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