Atomic power generation company Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) plans to spend about Rs 18,000 crore as capital expenditure this fiscal, said top company official.
He also said the first pour of concrete for the construction of two more 1,000 MW units (Units 5 and 6) at Kudankulam is expected to happen this year and the 700 MW unit at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) will begin commercial generation in September 2021.
“This fiscal we will be spending about Rs 18,000 crore as capital expenditure on our ongoing projects. The funding will be through a mix of internal accruals, central government budgetary support and long term borrowings. The first two will be about 30 per cent and the borrowings will be about 70 per cent of the project cost,” S.K. Sharma, Chairman & Managing Director told IANS.
According to him, the major on-going projects are the construction of two 1,000 MW units (Units 3 and 4) at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, four 700 MW units — two each at Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS – Units 7 and 8) and KAPS (Units 3 and 4).
Sharma also said some small investments will happen in Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP-2×700 MW) and first pour of concrete is also planned this year.
These apart, 10 more indigenously designed 700 MW units will be set up in a fleet mode and NPCIL is preparing the different sites to house them.
“The Kaiga site in Karnataka is getting ready and the land acquisition in Chutka in Madhya Pradesh is in advanced stages. We have got environmental clearances for some projects and the process is on for others,” Sharma remarked.
The 10 units are planned to be completed progressively by 2031 involving an outlay of Rs 1,05,000 crore with per MW cost estimated at about Rs 15 crore.
According to India Ratings & Research, the NPCIL board had approved a capex of Rs 13,000 crore for FY21.
Queried about the placement of orders for the various planned projects, Sharma said orders have been placed for long delivery items for fleet mode projects.
As regards the start of commercial generation of power from KAPS 3 unit that was connected to the grid this January Sharma said the power generation is being increased slowly. The generation level is now at 50 per cent and by September this year commercial generation may begin.
The grid connectivity of Unit 4 at KAPS and Unit 7 at RAPS will happen next year.
On the status of the French company EDF’s techno-commercial offer for building six reactors of 1,600 MW each in Jaitapur in Maharashtra Sharma said a committee has been set up to study the same.
Looking back at FY21 Sharma said despite the Covid-19 pandemic which was unexpected the performance was satisfactory with the generation of 43,000 million units down from 46,472 million units generated in FY20.
The NPCIL with a total capacity of 6,780 MW had a plant load factor (PLF) of 81 per cent last fiscal.
Out of about 11,000 employees about 1,400 of them got infected by Coronavirus.
While about 1,200 have recovered, unfortunately 15 of them lost their lives battling the coronavirus and the balance are under treatment, Sharma said.
However, power generation at its plants were not affected.
However, the same thing cannot be said about the progress of various projects as it depended on the contractors and vendors who supply equipment from different parts of the country.
“The new projects were affected to varying degrees. At the corporate level a task force was set up which gave guidance to project sites and other divisions,” Sharma said.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at email@example.com)