Saturday, 20 May 2017

NPAs in the making ?



During past few days , media is full of reports about the Central Government’s “ Bold Decision “ to set up 10 Nuclear Power Plants ( totalling 7,000 MW ), at a cost of Rs 70,000 crores


As reported in Hindustan Times / DNA , following “ arguments “ , make this , a “ bold decision “ :


·         To pump in Rs 70,000 cr of Capital Expenditure into the economy at a time when private investment continues to flag


·         To revive India’s moribund domestic nuclear industry


·         To help India ramp up its renewable base-load power capacity


·         The sheer amount of money involved gives India’s domestic nuclear firms, to scale up their designs and potentially break the 1,000 MW barrier


·         To leverage the domestic nuclear industry’s ability to manufacture reactor components that were third cheaper than the global norm and make India , a global hub of nuclear reactor technology and manufacturing


On face of it , all of the above make for eminent sense !


Until you ask the following questions :


·         How come , no nuclear power plants have come up anywhere in the World for past several decades ?


·         Why are old Nuclear Power Plants closing down everywhere ?


·         If the power produced with these 10 plants is going to cost the consumers , anywhere between Rs 5 – 7 / kwh , how can it compete with the Solar Power at Rs 2 / kwh ? ( just wait this to happen by May 2018 ! )



·         Apparently , it will cost Rs 10 cr / MW for setting up a Nuclear Plant as against Rs 5 cr / MW to set up a Solar power plant . What can justify this ?


·         Most likely , it will take  TEN YEARS  to construct / commission these Nuclear plants as against , ONE YEAR to put up SAME CAPACITY , Solar plants ! ( - which , incidentally , is THE TARGET for 2017-18 )



·         If the “ economics “ are so bad , which bank will finance these plants ? – knowing fully well that these Rs 70,000 cr will become NPA , even before the plants go on stream !


Bankers are already losing sleep over that the Rs 5 lakh*crore that they have advanced to some 60 + Coal based power plants which are “ under construction “ ( meaning , “ stuck “ ! ) and not likely to ever get completed / commissioned , because no DISCOM is ready to buy their “ expensive “ power at Rs 4 / kwh !



·         What about the “ Safety concerns / fears “ of citizens residing near these proposed Nuclear Plants ?  Have we forgotten Kudankulum / Jaitapur  ?




In case , you need to confirm that this is not a “ bold “ but a “ bad “ decision , do read :


Industry Meltdown: Is the Era of Nuclear Power Coming to an End?








Dear Shri Piyush  Goyalji ,


I urge you to take a second look at this decision




21  May  2017


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