Punj Lloyd, US firm sign accord on n-energy (lead)

December 4th, 2008 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) Engineering and construction major Punj Lloyd Thursday signed an agreement with the US-based nuclear energy company Thorium Power to jointly explore the possibilities of nuclear fuel generation in India.“The agreement, signed between the two companies today (Thursday), will help Thorium Power and Punj Lloyd to set up joint venture projects in the area of nuclear fuel in India and neighbouring regions,” Thorium president and chief executive Seth Gare said.

“We will explore full range of options available to both our companies in areas as diverse as marketing our non-proliferative fuel designs, providing advisory services to emerging national nuclear programmes and exploring development and investment opportunities in the nuclear industry”, Gare added.

Punj Lloyd Group chairman Atul Punj said the nuclear space is promising and the partnership aims to take forward India’s long standing commitment to the thorium fuel cycle.

“India has the second largest deposit of thorium in the world and the successful launch of the thorium technology will make India self-reliant with its own fuel in the long run,” Punj said.

At present, India gets just three percent of its energy - about 4,100 MW - from nuclear power and it aims to add a total 3,380 MW of additional nuclear power by 2012.

According to Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry in India (Assocham), nuclear power generation would be to the extent of 40,000 MW in the next 15 years, throwing up investment opportunity of Rs.2 trillion.

“India is expected to exceed the nuclear power target of 20,000 MW by 2020, thanks to the removal of curbs on the import of technology and fuels by the international community,” said Anil Kakodkar, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, the state-run agency that overseas fundamental research in nuclear energy and the development of applications for citizens.

“At least two-three units could be connected with the capacity of 1,400 MW to 1,500 MW in 2009,” Kakodkar told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on nuclear power organised by the India Power Forum.

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