France's EDF, GE Power to co-build reactors for Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant

French utility EDF and GE will jointly build six reactors for the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Maharashtra, the two firms said today. Once fully commissioned, the Jaitapur project will be the largest nuclear power plant in the world, with a cumulative capacity to produce 9,900 megawatt of electricity.

“Xavier Ursat, Group senior executive vice president of EDF in charge of new nuclear projects and engineering, and Andreas Lusch, President and CEO of GE’s Steam Power business on Tuesday announced signing of a strategic cooperation agreement between GE and EDF for the planned construction of 6 EPR reactors at Jaitapur site, Maharashtra, India,” the two firms said in a joint statement.

The pact is an important step in implementing the March 10 agreement between India and France to expedite the Jaitapur nuclear power plant project. EDF is to supply EPR technology for the plant.

Jaitapur is among the projects India plans to build to raise its nuclear power generation capacity to 22,480 MW by 2031.

The agreement between EDF and GE lays foundations for a long term partnership concerning the construction of the conventional island on each of the 6 reactor units.

The layout of nuclear power plant comprises two major parts – the nuclear island and the conventional (turbine) island. The nuclear island is the heart of the nuclear power plant, while the conventional (turbine) island houses the key component which extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam and converts it into electrical energy.

“GE Power will design the conventional island for the Jaitapur nuclear plant and supply its main components,” the statement said.

It will also provide operational support services and a training to employees of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), the owner and operator of the future nuclear power plant currently under discussion.

EDF will be responsible for engineering integration covering the entire project (nuclear island, conventional island and auxiliary systems) and will provide all the requisite input data.

“EDF and GE Power will move forward with the work currently being performed to freeze the project’s technical options, fine-tune industrial arrangements between both companies and finalize the design-engineering and procurement schedule,” the statement said.

GE Power is a long-standing partner of the EDF Group. The company is the main supplier of conventional-island components for many French power plants like Flamanville-3 as well as Hinkley Point C in the UK. GE Power has decades of experience and a manufacturing footprint in both France and India.

“This strategic agreement marks the beginning of a new phase in the implementation of the world’s biggest nuclear project at Jaitapur. We are proud to be supported by an experienced partner whose expertise is widely recognised across the globe,” said Xavier Ursat.

The Jaitapur project is essential for the future of India’s energy mix, he said.

“We are delighted to build on our long-standing partnership with EDF by signing this agreement related to Jaitapur. This represents 60 years of nuclear partnership between our two companies and demonstrates deep expertise in nuclear project development,” said Andreas Lusch.