Open to setting up new plants or participating in expansion

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Nov. 8

Even as the Indo-US civil nuclear deal may see further delay with the Democrats win in the US congressional elections, GE Energy on Wednesday said that it was looking to set up nuclear power plants in India post the deal coming through. The company further added that it was in talks with a few Indian equipment suppliers to explore opportunities in working together to further their nuclear energy business from a global standpoint. This could include working with us to help build nuclear plants in countries such as the US, said Mr Andrew C. White, President and CEO of GE Energy's nuclear business.

"India has excellent expertise and there is a huge opportunity for Indian suppliers to participate globally," he said.

On participating in nuclear power projects, Mr White said, "We are open to entering the Indian market as an owner or an operator". Eyeing the huge scope for nuclear energy in India after the nuclear co-operation agreement with the US goes through, Mr White said the company was open for either setting up new plants or participating in expansion of existing facilities. He added that GE would be able to provide new reactors with their technologies Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) and ESBWR.

Currently on a visit to India, Mr White held discussions with officials from the Atomic Commission and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. He also held a meeting with the NTPC Chairman.

He further expressed optimism that the Indo-US nuclear deal will pass through as both the Democrats and the Republican parties support the bill. "We are hopeful that the US Congress will pass the bill and we will be able to come back to India to participate in the area of nuclear energy here," he said.

Mr White added that to be successful in India, GE would need to tie up with local Indian companies in the field turbines, and so on, and even in managing nuclear plants.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 9, 2006)
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