Exclusive: Westinghouse to get new site for Indian nuclear plant - officials

Reuters News
Posted: May 31, 2016 3:00 AM

By Douglas Busvine and Rupam Jain

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp's Westinghouse Electric will relocate a planned project to build six nuclear reactors in India, officials said, clearing a land acquisition hurdle and bringing the first deal stemming from a U.S.-India civil nuclear accord struck more than a decade ago closer to reality.

The six AP-1000 reactors would be built in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, after the original site proposed for the multi-billion-dollar project, in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat, faced local opposition.

Indian federal and state officials confirmed that the state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), which would operate the plants, had made a down payment on 2,000 acres (800 hectares) in Shrikakulam district on India's eastern seaboard.

"The land acquisition was stuck for over a decade, but now it's coming to a conclusion," Ajay Jain, energy secretary of Andhra Pradesh, told Reuters, adding the purchase would close this year. "Construction can begin in 2017."

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Westinghouse did not respond to requests for comment, while senior executives at NPCIL, which would operate the plant, were not available.

(Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Mike Collett-White)