A new company will be formed to implement the 2000MWe nuclear power project, said V K Chaturvedi, chairman and managing director of the Nuclear Power Corporation. He said that in order that some financial institutions could be invited to take equity positions in the new company, NPC has sought changes in legislation governing nuclear power.

Currently, only NPC or its subsidiaries are allowed to run nuclear power plants. If a financial institution is to take a stake in the equity of a nuclear power company, it would require some change in the law.

Chaturvedi said that Koodangulam in Tamil Nadu would be funded to the extent of over 50% by suppliers credit from Russia, which would be available at an interest rate of around 4%. The rest of the money would come as equity from the government and, after the change in the law, from financial institutions.

Chaturvedi said there was scope for at least four more units at Koodangulam. Excavation work on Koodangulam 1 and 2 would begin by the first quarter of 2002, and the actual project work would start around July 2002. It would take five years for the first unit to begin generating electricity and six more months for the next unit.