N-trade: It's a $40 billion opportunity-India-The Times of India
11 Sep 2008, 0648 hrs IST,
NEW DELHI: The NSG waiver is a truly global opportunity. As India opens its doors for nuclear trade, it will generate worldwide business worth $40 billion, allow Indian companies to supply components to foreign N-plant makers, offer power-generation opportunities to Indian firms and increase the nuclear power level in the country to 52,000 megawatt by 2020 from the present 4120 megawatt, according to nuclear experts."India will set up 24 imported civilian nuclear light-water reactors along its coasts in the next 11 to 15 years," chairman and managing director of Nuclear Power Corporation S K Jain said on Wednesday. The corporation headed by Jain manages all the civilian nuclear plants in India.Speaking to TOI, Jain said apart from countries like the US, France and Russia, more vendors will now be knocking at India’s atomic door for a share in Rs 2.4 lakh crore project. In fact, the French nuclear major, Areva, has already set up an office in Mumbai, waiting to begin formal business discussions with the NPC.Disclosing that the plan to import reactors to enhance India's nuclear power programme formed a part of the 11th five year plan between 2007 and 2012, the NPC chief said, "We will begin the modalities of financing the acquisition now that we have the NSG clearance."With regards to the imported reactors, Jain said that every chosen region of the country will get reactors from one particular country only. For example, at Jaitapur in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district all the reactors will come from France.Jain, one of the top nuclear officials in the country, added that the setting up of imported reactors will give a chance to Indian companies to collaborate with foreign companies. "Western technology will be married to the competitiveness of Indian industry," he said.Since the NSG approval also permits export of nuclear components from India, Jain said the US manufacturers may source components from India. "Now armed with the NSG approval, India will compete with other nuclear powers to collaborate with these nations to set up their atomic power plants," Jain said.According to some NPC officials, it is possible that the organisation may form a separate wing for international collaboration. "We now have a huge business opportunity and will now become truly global nuclear player," an official remarked.Secretary-general of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce R K Chopra also sees good opportunities for Indian firms. "A number of Indian companies could become a manufacturing hub for making nuclear-related parts and export them to the US and other countries. India can also team up with the bigger countries and export components to smaller nations," Chopra said.The waiver will also open business doors for many Indian companies. A spokesperson of the Confederation of Indian Industry told TOI that the NSG green signal has now directly opened up business opportunities worth Rs 1,20,000 crore for global and Indian firms in the next 15 years.According to the CII official, NTPC, Jindal, L&T, Tata Power and Reliance Power are among the key companies that would have huge business opportunities now. "Other companies, which have traditionally not been in this field are likely to foray into the area as well, owing to the magnitude of the business potential," he said, expressing confidence that once the US government gets the deal approved in the Congress, India would modify its Atomic Energy Act of 1962 to allow private sector participation in nuclear power generation in the country.The waiver will not only help nuclear power, according to experts, it will also benefit trade in high-technology areas like pharma, semi-conductors, precision engineering, defence equipment, advanced and speciality chemicals, electronics, sensors, environmental technology, space, automation and robotics.