The joint venture between NTPC and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) for setting up a 2,000-MWe atomic power plant is likely to take shape soon.
Official sources said here that the proposal had been sent to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) for formal approval and the project was likely to take shape in the next two to three months.
NTPC and NPCIL had signed a memorandum of understanding recently to form a joint venture for setting up nuclear power projects. NTPC is in the process of setting up a joint venture company with NPCIL, where the latter would hold a majority stake of 51 per cent, while the balance would be with the power PSU. Officials said the power PSU had already, in consultation with the PGCIL, zeroed in on certain sites for the proposed nuclear plant and a final decision would be taken on the issue when the formal approval of DAE comes. NTPC has formed a Nuclear Power Cell headed by officers trained at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for building capacity in this field. NTPC, which has an installed capacity of over 30,000 MW from all sources of energy, plans to raise this capacity to 75,000 MW by 2017 through a mix of thermal, hydel and nuclear power. It is also gearing up for its follow-on public offer, which opens on February 3. The government plans to divest five per cent of its stake in the power utility.
After disinvestment, the government’s holding in NTPC would come down to 84.5 per cent from 89.5 per cent at present. It plans to mop up about Rs.11,000 crore at current market rates. The nuclear power generation contributes a meagre 2.9 per cent to the total installed capacity of 1.55 lakh MW. The government plans to take atomic power generation to 20,000 MW by 2020.