400 companies will benefit from N deal, prospect of Rs 1800 billion

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) At least 400 Indian and foreign firms and more than 200 SMEs will be potential beneficiaries of the civil nuclear cooperation agreement between India and France which was signed in Paris last month, official sources said here today.

There is a ''real prospect'' of attracting Rs 1800 Billion (29 Billion euros approximately) in foreign investment over the next 10-15 years as a result of the private entry into India's nuclear power sector.

According to the sources, the Indo-French cooperation in the development of India's nuclear power is poised for a ''great leap'' as India needs 147 Billion Euros in the area of infrastructure and India is looking to French companies for massive collaborations, Infrastructure and Allied Infrastructure including power, logistics, and transportation have huge potential for investment.

About 200 medium and small firms are expected to get into the act as ancillary procedures to the big-companies, giving a new direction to efficient and cheaper power production in the country.

Already players like L and T and BHEL are associated with NPCIL for procurement and construction of Nuclear power plants.

NTPC is going to be another major player in this area.

The deal will also attract French players dedicated to design and construction of Nuclear power plants and research reactors, instrumentation and control, modernisation and maintenance services, components manufacture and the supply of nuclear fuel.

India now needs to look at allowing private sector participation for realising its plans of adding 60,000 MW of nuclear power. This would require an investment of more than Rs 6000 Billion (approximately 97 Billion Euros).

The deal would also open up certain key high-tech industries such as pharma, IT, Space and Defence.

NPCIL, JSW, BHEL and L and T have lined up plans worth more than Rs 100,000 crore for foraying into this sector, the sources added.

UNI RB AKJ SB HT1745

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