After Kakarapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat
, state-owned aluminium major Nalco is looking to set up another nuclear power plant in collaboration with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).
An NPCIL-Nalco joint venture is already executing unit 3 and 4 of Kakarapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat of 700 MW capacity each, which requires a total investment of about Rs 12,000 crore.
"We are in talks with NPCIL for the second project. There are three options to set up the plant at West Bengal, Odisha and Rajasthan. We are looking at 1,500 MW atomic power project with 49 per cent stake," National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco) Chairman B L Bagra said.
NPCIL would be the operator of the project with 51 per cent stake.
Bagra said a final decision on the project would take some time as the site of the proposed plant is yet to be finalised.Nalco, which has 26 per cent stake
in the existing JV with NPCIL, is also looking to increase its stake in the venture to 49 per cent and has sought approval from the government to raise its equity.
"We hope to get Department of Atomic Energy's (DEA) approval in next 2-3 months for raising the stake. Our total investment, for 49 per cent stake in Kakrapar venture, will be about 1,700 crore," he said, adding that the JV has held its first Board meeting last month.
In the current financial year, the aluminium major has kept a budget of Rs 1,000 crore to be invested on the venture that is to be operational by October, 2014, he further said.
Venturing into the nuclear power sector is part of Nalco's growth plans, under which it aims to become a diversified metals, mining and power producing company, with an estimated turnover of over Rs 25,000 crore by 2020.
According to the plan, the company would venture into power sector as an independent producer and once the generation capacity goes up substantially, the business will be hived off into a wholly-owned subsidiary.
The aluminium major generates about 1,200 MW electricity for captive uses and has been planning to bid for upcoming ultra mega power projects.
It had also announced setting up a 50 MW wind mill in Andhra Pradesh for about Rs 274 crore. Besides, it is looking to diversify into other metal segments like copper and uranium.
The company currently has an alumina refinery capacity of 2.1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and an aluminium smelter of 4.6 mtpa. It also has bauxite mining capacity of 6.3 MT.