French firm EDF submits binding offer to build 6 reactors of Jaitapur nuclear plant

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Mumbai, Apr 23 (PTI) French energy major EDF on Friday said it has submitted a binding techno-commercial offer to Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) for building six reactors of the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power project in Maharashtra.

The energy major termed this as a major milestone, which will enable discussions aimed at converging towards a binding framework agreement in the coming months.

The ambitious 9900 MW power plant with six reactors of 1,650 MW each will come up at Jaitapur in Ratnagiri, the coastal district of Maharashtra.

French envoy Emmanuel Lenain said this will be the largest nuclear power project in the world.

'The world's most powerful plant would provide electricity to 7cr households, avoid 8cr tons of CO2 per year & create 1000s of local jobs. This milestone in the #Jaitapur nuclear power plant project brings forward the vision of President @EmmanuelMacron and PM @narendramodi, in line with #MakeInIndia. Together, France and India will secure access to safe, reliable, competitive and sustainable energy,” the envoy said.

France is one of the three nations with whom India shares a robust cooperation in the area of space, defence and nuclear energy. The US and Russia are the other two countries.

The EDF submitted the binding offer on Thursday that includes the detailed technical configuration of the reactors and comprehensive commercial terms and conditions for the supply of engineering studies and equipment for the six EPR reactors, according to the statement.

The EDF has proposed to provide the EPR technology, which includes getting the know-how from its subsidiary Framatome for engineering studies and supply for six nuclear steam systems. It partners with GE Steam Power for the supply of the engineering studies and equipment of the six conventional islands.

NPCIL, on the other hand would be responsible for the construction and commissioning of each of the six units of the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant, as well as for obtaining all necessary permits and consents in India, including the certification of the EPR technology by the Indian safety regulator, as the owner and future operator of the plant.

A statement said that the EDF offer is the culmination of the work carried out jointly with NPCIL further to the signature of the Industrial Way Forward Agreement on March 10, 2018, which was followed by a non-binding offer submitted later in the same 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,' EDF Group's chairman and chief executive Jean Bernard Levy said.

He called it a step towards the materialisation of the flagship project, and the establishment of a long-term partnership in the civil nuclear field between both our leading nuclear industries.

EDF said that the offer is based on the complementary skills of EDF and NPCIL, and aims to build a long-term partnership between the French and Indian nuclear industries.

The French company has also guaranteed the performance of each of the six EPR units under specific conditions and for a predefined period of time and will also offer training services for NPCIL's future operating teams, the statement said, making it clear that the French company is neither an investor in the project nor in charge of the construction.

During the construction phase, NPCIL may benefit from EDF and its partners' assistance, notably regarding the sharing of other EPR project-related lessons learned, it added.

In order to promote Indian interests, the EDF will be identifying Indian companies that can act as suppliers for the project, it said, adding that about 200 entities have already been pre-qualified.

It will also launch a pre-feasibility study, conducted by EDF, I2EN (International Institute of Nuclear Energy) and VJTI (Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute), for the establishment of a centre in India aiming to train engineers and technicians, and to support the development of the necessary set of skills for the project.

The six reactors will create 25,000 jobs during the construction phase and 2,700 permanent jobs, it said, adding that the French industry will also be benefited during the 15-year long project. PTI AA PR MR