French energy major makes final offer to India to build 6 nuclear reactors in Maharashtra

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French energy major EDF on Friday said it has made a final offer to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) on building six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, setting the stage for discussions on a framework agreement.

Describing the development as a “major step forward” for the Jaitapur civil nuclear project, French ambassador Emmanuel Lenain said: “The French energy company EDF has submitted [its] final offer to build six EPR reactors in Maharashtra. This would be the largest power plant in the world and it would provide safe, reliable sustainable energy to up to seven crore households.”

The binding techno-commercial offer to supply engineering studies and equipment for building six European pressurised water reactors (EPR) was made by EDF on Thursday, and it will “enable discussions aimed at converging towards a binding framework agreement in the coming months”, the French embassy said in a statement.

The final offer is a follow-up to the Industrial Way Forward Agreement signed by the two sides in March 2018 in New Delhi and to non-binding proposal submitted by EDF at the end of 2018.

EDF’s final offer includes the detailed technical configuration of the reactors, taking into account information provided by NPCIL on the Jaitapur site conditions and the joint work done by the two organisations, and the associated commercial terms and conditions for supplying engineering studies and equipment for six reactors, the statement said.

The French firm will guarantee the performance of each of the reactors under specific conditions and for a predefined period of time, and also offer training for NPCIL’s operating teams.

NPCIL will be responsible for construction and commissioning of the reactors and for obtaining all necessary permits and consents in India, including the certification of the EPR technology by the Indian safety regulator.

Lenain said in keeping with the “Make in India” initiative, more than 200 Indian companies have been identified to work on the nuclear power project.

EDF will also launch a pre-feasibility study along with the International Institute of Nuclear Energy (I2EN) and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) for establishing a centre of excellence in India to train engineers and technicians and to support the development of the necessary set of skills for the project.

The project is expected to create around 2,700 permanent jobs and generate economic benefits for the French nuclear industry over its entire duration of about 15 years. The Jaitapur project, with an installed capacity of 9.6 GWe, will be the most powerful energy plant in the world and generate up to 75 TWh a year. This will cover the annual consumption of 70 million households while avoiding the emission of 80 million tons of CO2 a year.

“This key milestone has been achieved thanks to the trust-based relationship built over time with our Indian partner, and the excellent collaboration and continuous efforts of the EDF and NPCIL teams,” said EDF Group’s chief executive Jean Bernard Levy.

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