Putin’s India Visit Focuses on Nuclear Projects and Energy
India wants to expand its nuclear-generation capacity to 20 gigawatts by 2020, (from five gigawatts currently) and Russia will help India build at least 10 more nuclear reactors. Prime Minister Modi said that the two countries had outlined an “ambitious vision” for nuclear energy during the talks and that the new reactors would be built over the next 20 years. He added that, under the deal, nuclear components would be made in India.
India and Russia will expand their cooperation in the localization of equipment and spares, uranium mining, fabrication and supply of nuclear fuel, management of spent fuel and in other aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle. Toward this objective, the Indian side agreed to expeditiously identify a second site, in addition to Kudankulam, for the construction of the Russian-designed nuclear power units in India. (The original plan was to locate a Russian technology plant in West Bengal but the current leader of that state rejected the idea, despite rampant power shortages. Neighboring Odisha is a coastal state that appears to be a likely candidate. Most light water reactors are being located close to the coast).
The leaders envisage broader collaboration between hydrocarbon companies of the two countries in oil and gas exploration and production, as well as in liquefied natural gas projects and supplies. The two countries signed a series of major energy agreements on Thursday. A $1billion joint venture to support hydro-electric power projects in India has been agreed, and Russian oil producer Rosneft signed a deal to supply India with 10 million tons of oil per year, according to Reuters. President Putin said earlier that his country was looking to export more Russian oil and gas to Asia because of problems with the European market.