French energy group EDF took Friday a key step towards helping to build the world’s biggest nuclear power plant in India, a project blocked for years by nuclear events and local opposition.
The company said it had filed a binding offer to supply engineering studies and equipment to build six, third-generation EPR reactors in Jaitapur, western India. Once finished, the facility would provide 10 gigawatts (GW) of electricity, roughly enough for 70 million households.
Construction is expected to take 15 years, but the site should be able to start generating electricity before its completion.
Finalisation of the contract was expected “in the coming months”, an EDF statement said.
EDF, which is in exclusive talks with Indian officials, would not build the power plant itself, but would provide the nuclear reactors in a deal that includes US partner GE Steam Power.
The state-owned PSU Nuclear Power Corporation of India controls the national nuclear energy sector, and the EDF offer was submitted to the country’s nuclear operator NPCIL.
Although no financial details have been released, the contract is estimated to be worth in the tens of billions of euros (dollars).