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France agrees with Modi’s stand on role of N-energy in climate change

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on April 07, 2015

Preparing the ground Ambassador of France, Francois Richier addressing the media on the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the French Embassy in New Delhi on Tuesday. RV MOORTHY

Remains non-committal on finalising Jaitapur nuclear plant deal during PM visit

France has endorsed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's view that promoting nuclear energy is necessary to fight against climate change.

“We agree with the PM’s stand on nuclear energy and climate change. We share his view that nuclear energy is an essential part of fighting climate change,” French Ambassador to India François Richier said at an interaction with the media on Tuesday.

The Ambassador, however, was non-committal about whether India and France would finalise the deal for the proposed Indo-France Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant Project during Modi’s visit to France next month.

French nuclear company Areva and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) are in negotiations for setting up six advanced nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, but there are disagreements over the cost of power to be produced.

“It is a big project. It is not something to be tied to a particular visit,” he said. Modi’s three-day official visit to France will begin on April 9, after which he will go to Germany.

India is hoping that Modi’s meeting with French President Francois Hollande during his visit will at least give a big push for the conclusion of the deal for the 9,900-MW nuclear power plant.

Modi, on Monday, criticised developed countries for lecturing India on climate change, yet refusing to provide nuclear fuel for producing clean energy.

The Prime Minister will also discuss partnerships with the country in setting up smart cities, investing in solar energy projects and upgrading the country’s railways and some pacts may be signed in these areas.

The French Ambassador said that a number of French companies, including those in defence, were keen to the part of the ‘Make in India’ programme. He, however, refused to comment on whether the proposed multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter deal, stuck because of differences between the two sides over pricing, would be on the agenda. Richier said that French investments in India were to the tune of $19 billion in 2014 and over the past few years the trend was of incremental investments of about $1.5 billion annually.

The reforms carried out by the government recently and those in the pipeline were encouraging for French companies which were expected to invest more in India, he added.

Published on April 07, 2015
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