India, France agree on cost of power generated by JNPP

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After three years of hectic negotiations, India and France have agreed on the cost of power that will be generated by Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP), clearing a major hurdle in the path of the project.

The two sides have agreed on Rs 6 per unit, down from Rs 9.18 per unit quoted by the French company Areva initially, which was not acceptable to India, sources told PTI here.

France has also decided to provide India a loan for the project at 4.8 per cent interest rate for 25 years, they said.

The decisions were arrived at during a meeting between National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Chairman of France's Commission on Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA) Benard Bigot in Paris recently, they said.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Areva are now working out further modalities.

The Jaitapur project in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra will have 6 EPRs (European Pressurised Reactors) with each reactor producing 1650 MWs of electricity.

The cost of power was a major hurdle in the forward movement on JNPP with the two sides differing on it earlier.

Areva, which was building the reactors for JNPP, had quoted the price of Rs 9.18 per unit.

This was strongly opposed by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and NPCIL.

DAE secretary R K Sinha had also told reporters in December last year that the minimum price India could zero down to was Rs 6-6.50 per unit.

However, France now has agreed to bring down the price to Rs 6.

JNPP would be one of the costliest nuclear power plant projects considering its sheer size and the new technology.

French officials say the reactors are expensive because of enhanced safety measures.

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