Japan, India to push ahead with 3 infrastructure projects

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Tokyo, Dec 25: India and Japan are set to push ahead with three major infrastructure projects on solar power, seawater desalination and gas-fired energy production during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to New Delhi.

The projects will be involving Japanese companies and are part of a bilateral initiative agreed in 2006 to build a freight railway linking Delhi and Mumbai and industrial complexes along the rail corridor, known as "the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor," officials were quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.

The three projects concern the building of a solar power generation system, seawater desalination and gas-fired power production. The envisioned accord between Noda and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh is expected to give momentum to efforts by the Japanese public and private sectors to export infrastructure systems so as to boost Japan's economic growth.

Under the solar power generation system project, Hitachi Ltd. and the government-linked New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization plan to operate the system on a trial basis, supplying power to industrial parks. Hitachi will also team up with trading house Itochu Corp and the city government of Kitakyushu, which provides technical expertise to foreign governments on building water supply systems, in a project in India that involves seawater desalination and building an industrial water supply network.

Mitsubishi Corp, another trading company, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., plan to develop a gas-fired power generation project in areas where electricity supply is tight. Following the accord by the premiers, the two countries will sign a memorandum of understanding on the three projects.

The signing ceremony will possibly be held in January, when Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano will visit India, the sources said. Japan will also announce plans to invest USD 4.5 billion, or 350 billion yen, over the next five years to promote the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, a USD 90 billion mega infrastructure project.


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