Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corp is in preliminary talks with the Indian government and private companies to expand its presence in India beyond the nuclear sector to the new area of mini hydro power projects, with units ranging from 0.5 to 2 megawatts, an official said.
The discussions are being done through Ganz Engineering and Energetics Machinery, a 100 per cent Hungarian subsidiary of the Rosatom’s engineering division Atomenergomash.
“We consider this as another opportunity for cooperation between Rosatom and India, and our office in India is working in this direction. We are discussing, the issues both with the government, and private bodies,” Rusatom International Network president Alexander Merten told visiting Indian journalists here. Rusatom International Network is involved in marketing and business development of a number of Rosatom projects abroad. The small hydro-power plants are pre-fabricated, and assembled in the factory and then supplied to the customer.
“The customer receives three containers — holding the turbine, electrical components and the diesel generator. In case of good demand from India, we are ready to consider the pre-fabrication of the unit, denoting the preliminary assemblage, and the assembly line,” he said. He said the cost of these projects would be approximately about 1 million euro per megawatt (around Rs 7.1 crore per MW), with the topography being a key factor in final pricing of the projects.
Merten said the mini hydro power units are based on simple designs, and are economically visible in remote, mountainous areas where power supply is unavailable. “We have pilot installation of the mini hydel plants in Georgia, and are also discussing the issue with Turkey and the Middle East countries,” he said.
On the advantages of the units, he said the construction and installation of the product on the riverside or any other water reservoir does not involve a high cost, and it is also not ecologically harmful. “There is no need to change the rivermouth for installation, nor does it require installation of dams. It allows for preservation of ecology,” he said on the sidelines of the Atomexpo 2017 organised by Rosatom.
“This plant can generate energy and pass it to the existing grid, or some facility, like manufacturing facility, production facility, or some set up or a town,” he said. The power generation can also be started within a month. The company said the plants can also be managed through remote control by using a mobile or tablet, making it easier for the owner to keep a tab on the electricity generated by the system.