Companies

NTPC puts nuclear power projects on hold

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018




NTPC has put its plans to set up nuclear power projects, jointly with Nuclear Power Corporation of India, on the backburner. The company has also begun to relocate employees assigned for the projects due to uncertainty in the nuclear power arena.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is facing severe delays in setting up plants and NTPC is actually considering exiting the joint venture, said a senior NTPC official, requesting anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

Another NTPC official, who also did not wish to be named, said around 40 engineers from NPCIL’s Mumbai office, who were being trained to build nuclear plants, have been pulled out and relocated to NTPC’s other thermal power plants. In all, 74 engineers were stationed across the country.

The official said the rest would be withdrawn in phases. Engineers, who were relocated out of Mumbai, were being trained in plant designing, while those stationed at other plant sites were involved in the commissioning of the under-construction plants. Nuclear projects country-wide have been facing massive opposition. While considerations revolve around the safety of the people living near the plant, NPCIL has also been facing a delay in acquisition of land, all of which have adversely impacted the project.

In the last two years, the engineers had voiced their concerns about their career and lack of professional growth in the joint venture with the senior-most personnel of NTPC. Prolonged disruption of work at the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu, following protests from anti-nuclear campaigners, had also affected the morale of the engineers. Taking all these factors into consideration they are being withdrawn, the official added.

When contacted, Deepna Mehta, spokesperson for NTPC, denied that the process of land acquisition had run into obstacles. In an e-mail reply to Business Line, she said the joint venture company is pursuing its first plant in Hisar district of Haryana. “The process of land acquisition for the project is in progress and money has been deposited with the State Government towards land acquisition. Other pre-project activities are also in progress,’’ she added.

The joint venture between NPCIL and NTPC, inked in April 2010, was the first major venture for setting up nuclear plants post the Indo-US nuclear agreement, which opened the nuclear sector to a number of new technologies.

> rahul.wadke@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 22, 2012

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