PM Narendra Modi’s France visit sees Areva’s nuclear plant agreement with NPCIL, L&T

Source: Economic Times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France witnessed a landmark MoU for techno-commercial cooperation between ArevaBSE -0.26 % and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd after years of negotiations and a key pact between the French nuclear giant with Larsen and Tourbo for making components in this country for setting up six advanced reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra.

The Areva-L&T pact was the highlight of the occasion following talks between Narendra Modi and Hollande at Paris on Friday evening, diplomatic sources told ET from France. Sources said the pact is part of Make in India initiative and this involves production of nuclear heavy forging in the country. This is critical for making of outer casket for nuclear reactors which Areva usually sources from Japan but is unable to do so for Indian market in the absence of Indo-Japan civil nuclear deal so far.

This was agreed upon following strong push from both Modi and Hollande for 9,900-MW nuclear power plant, five years after the civil nuclear deal was signed by Delhi and Paris, according to diplomatic sources.

NPCIL and L&T in 2009 formed a joint venture company to produce special steels and ultra heavy forgings. The very heavy forging capacity in operation today is in Japan (Japan Steel Works), China (China First Heavy Industries, China Erzhong, SEC), France (Le Creusot), and Russia (OMZ Izhora). New capacity is planned in UK (Sheffield Forgemasters) and India (Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bharat Forge Ltd). And now following the L&T and Areva pact a key component will be domestically produced and this will bring down cost of reactors and therefore per unit tariff of power produced. French government claims that the reactors (European Pressurised Reactors) are expensive because of enhanced safety measures.

Addressing India’s concern, France also came down heavily on cross-border terror.

Later Modi and French president Francois Hollande went on a boat ride on River Seine in what was dubbed as ‘Naav Pe Charcha’ (discussions during boat ride).

They agreed on dismantling terrorist infrastructure, denying safe heavens to terrorist and bringing perpetrators and conspirators of terrorist attacks to justice, sources informed.

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