'India-specific agreement would prove passport for N-trade'
Rs 100000cr carrot behind the waiver
New Delhi, Sept 8 (UNI) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said India has now to get ratification of the Indo-US nuclear deal and India-specific safeguard agreement which would prove to be the passport for the country's entry into nuclear trade.
''Now we have to wait for the ratification of the 123 agreement between India and the United States,'' he said adding that it has now to supply two other documents which the US Congress require for ratification of the India-specific safeguard agreement.
After ratification, certain other procedural aspects would be completed which would finally enable us to enter in bilateral agreement with other countries.
''As I mentioned earlier, approval for India-specific safeguard agreement is a passport to enter international nuclear trade through bilateral agreements with the supplier countries. Then we will actually enter the nuclear trade,'' Mr Mukherjee said.
NSG nod confirms India's impeccable track record: Russia
New Delhi, Sept. 7: A sum of Rs 100,000 crore that is up for grabs in deals may have helped India bag the Nuclear Suppliers Group waiver.
New Delhi has drawn up plans under which the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC) are to set up a string of nuclear power plants — 15 by 2020 that will add 20,000MW to the current 3,300MW.
Global nuclear power plant manufacturers and domestic engineering giants are expected to harvest the bounty of the nuclear commerce the Indo-US deal will offer.
Areva SA and Alstom of France, General Electric of the US, Toshiba Corp’s Westinghouse Electric Co (based in the US), and Russia’s atomic energy agency Rosatom are among the global firms likely to get most of the contracts. Diplomats of these nations were in the forefront of lobbying for the deal at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the NSG.
The Centre might make it mandatory for nuclear reactor suppliers to get at least 30 per cent of their equipment from India, analysts said.
“The volume of business to be generated in nuclear power plant construction is huge since the cost of construction per MW of nuclear power is about Rs 7 crore and we are talking of adding 20,000MW by 2020,” said Arvind Mahajan, executive director of KPMG, a financial services firm.
Planning Commission officials said the Atomic Energy Act might be amended to allow Indian private-sector players – such as the Tatas, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Energy, GMR and Essar – to enter the sector and global players to take up small stakes in these plants.
Indian law now allows only the state-run NPCIL to set up and run nuclear power plants. Amendments lying with the cabinet permit any public sector company to enter the sector. At the time these were drafted, the Left was an ally of the government and would not have been keen on private participation. That has changed now, especially with the Samajwadi Party on board.
Still, analysts said, it may not be feasible to open the sector completely to private companies given the stringent international safeguards.
NPCIL plans to set up four power plants and has selected sites in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Bengal.
The NTPC, which is into thermal power generation, is also planning to diversify into nuclear energy and plans to add 2,000MW of nuclear energy by 2012.
Other than the NTPC, the state-owned Bharat Heavy Electriclas Ltd (Bhel) and several private players could benefit from the spillover effect of nuclear commerce. Bhel plans to spend Rs 1,500 crore over the next two years building plants to supply components for 1,600MW-capacity reactors, sources said.
Engineering firm Larsen & Toubro, construction houses Gammon and Hindustan Construction Company and power equipment company ABB are expected to benefit.
Kuljit Singh, energy analyst with Ernst and Young, however, said: “There is very little for Indian firms to benefit at this juncture since the sector is not open to private players. Most of the equipment for the power plants would be supplied by global leaders.”
Japan backs nuclear deal
Moscow, Sep 8 (PTI) Russia today said the unanimous decision of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to grant a waiver to India confirms New Delhi's impeccable non-proliferation record and will be a "reliable guarantee" of the peaceful use of nuclear exports to it.
Moscow was one of the initiators of the NSG decision and actively lobbied for its adoption, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
On the eve of the NSG's September 6 decision, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan had called up his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev to request more hectic lobbying by Russia amid uncertainty over the waiver which prevailed till the last moment.
"We are confident that the exception for India confirms the impeccable track record of New Delhi in non-proliferation affairs and will be a reliable guarantee of the peaceful use of nuclear exports to India," the statement said.
Russia is already completing two VVER-1000 nuclear reactors at Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu with the total capacity of 2000 MWe and in February last Moscow and New Delhi have inked an MoU for building four more such reactors. PTI
China welcomes NSG waiver for India
Monday, September 08, 2008
Tokyo: The Japanese government today defended its clearance of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal saying it had backed the deal to join an international consensus taking a "comprehensive perspective".
"Japan has decided to join the consensus from a comprehensive viewpoint," Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura told newsmen today saying nuclear power would help India fight global warming.
"It would be a tool to prevent the emission of a huge volume of green house gas as this emerging country of a billion people continues its rapid growth," the Japanese top official said.
Machimura was quoted by the Kyodo news agency as saying that the safeguards agreement India has reached with the IAEA would ensure inspection of India's nuclear facilities and increase transparency of the country s nuclear activities.
The top Japanese official said despite his country s backing of the civil nuclear deal at the key NSG meet in Vienna, Tokyo still had concerns.
"We would continue to assert that India should join the comprehensive test ban treaty," Machimura said.
Beijing, Sept 8 (PTI) After its unexpected opposition in Vienna, China today welcomed the NSG granting a waiver to India to engage in nuclear commerce, but hoped this cooperation should be "conducive" to safeguarding the global nuclear non-proliferation efforts.
"China hopes that the decision will contribute to peaceful use of nuclear energy and international cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
China had joined hold-out countries like Austria, New Zealand and Ireland which insisted on incorporating their concerns in the waiver but later relented after the US pushed hard to get the nod of the 45-member nuclear cartel.
"China believes that all countries are entitled to make peaceful use of nuclear energy, and conduct international cooperation in this regard," the statement said.
"Meanwhile, relevant cooperation should be conducive to safeguarding the integrity and efficacy of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime," the statement said.
Beijing's statement is being seen as a move to assuage New Delhi which has conveyed its unhappiness over the Chinese position at the NSG meet.
The tough negotiations at Vienna went down to the wire after China, which had sounded positive in the run-up to the NSG meeting, took a different line creating problems for a consensus on the waiver.
The statement came on a day when External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee held talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in New Delhi.