New plants to generate 33,400 jobs, Rs 70,000-crore opportunity
The government has approved a Rs 70,000-crore quantum leap in India’s nuclear energy generation capacity and a new transparent policy for fuel supply to thermal power plants that reflects the country’s swift progress from scarcity to sufficiency of domestic coal.
India will set up 7,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity with 10 units of India’s indigenous pressurised heavy water reactor technology, power, coal, renewable energy and mines minister Piyush Goyal told reporters. This marks India’s biggest expansion in nuclear power capacity, currently at 6,780 mw, and will be a flagship Make in India project, the government said. Another 6,700 mw of projects under construction will be ready by 2022, it said.
The decisions, taken by the cabinet on Wednesday, are expected to prepare the country for the likely surge in power demand from industries, rural electrification and electric cars. The expansion in nuclear capacity, which will be part of the Make in India initiative, has cheered key players in the sector such as Larsen & Toubro, Kirloskar Brothers and Godrej & Boyce, while the policy on coal supply is expected to help power stations stranded by fuel shortage.
“The decision reflects strength of India to set up its own nuclear capacity. This will lead to domestic orders for manufacturing worth Rs 70,000 crore,” Goyal said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. The plants will be set up by Nuclear Power Corporation of India on its own and in joint ventures with other state-run companies like NTPC, Goyal said.
The programme will boost India’s energy security through clean and carbonfree sources of energy and help transform domestic nuclear industry. The projects will bring about substantial economies of scale and maximise cost and time efficiencies by adopting the fleet mode for execution. They are expected to generate more than 33,400 direct and indirect jobs, Goyal said.