June 19, 2008

India to Set Up Six Nuclear Plants With Russian Support – Minister

Text of unattributed report headlined "NPC to set up six more plants" published by Indian newspaper The Hindu website on 19 June

Ramanathapuram: The Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) will set up six more plants to produce 8,000 MW [Mega Watt] on Kudankulam mode with Russian fuel support, Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Power, said on Wednesday [18 June].

A few of them might be set up at Kudankulam, the union [federal] minister said, inaugurating a 92-MW natural gas cycle additional power station, established by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board at Vazhuthur near here.

Pointing out that the first consignment of enriched uranium had arrived from Russia, he said the first 1000- MW unit at Kudankulam would be commissioned in April 2009. Another 1000-MW unit would start functioning in December 2009. He said the country was badly in need of nuclear energy.

"Without the nuclear agreement, the support of International Atomic Energy Agency and Nuclear Suppliers Group countries, we cannot get fuel from Russia for the proposed projects." The government would expand its cooperation with Russia and France, he said.

Referring to a number of power projects proposed by central public sector undertakings in the State, Mr. Ramesh said that work on the 14-year-old proposal to establish a 1,600-MW thermal power project at Jayamkondam was progressing well. The third phase of 500- MW project of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation would be commissioned in March 2009.

Arcot N. Veeraswami, State Electricity Minister, said an order had been issued for importing coal from Indonesia, Australia and China for merchant power projects. The imported coal would have just five per cent ash content compared to 40 per cent ash content coal available in the country.

Minor ports

As ports in Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin could not handle the huge consignment of coal from other countries, the State government had already sanctioned a minor port for Manapadu. Such ports would also come up at Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Marakkanam, Thirukadaiyur and Cheyyar.

Originally published by The Hindu website, Chennai, in English 19 Jun 08.

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