"Our board has given an in-principle approval for foray into nuclear power. We propose to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NPCIL later this month to explore options for forming a joint venture for setting up at least one nuclear power plant," a top company official said.
After the MoU is signed, the two companies will enter into confidentiality agreement wherein NPCIL will share details of the projects it is planning.
"We will look at the viability of each project and choose a project for joint execution. At that stage, we will go to our board again for investment approval," he said, adding IOC would be a minority partner in the venture.
IOC may take 26 to 49 per cent stake in NPCIL's upcoming Rs 28,050 crore (Rs 280.50 billion) 3300 MW Jaitapur plant in Maharashtra, Rs 18,000 crore (Rs 180 billion) 2000 MW Kudankulam unit in Tamil Nadu or a Rs 14,000 crore (Rs 140 billion) 1400 MW plant that may be located at Kakrapar in Gujarat or Rawatbhata in Rajasthan.
The move is part of the blueprint drawn by B M Bansal, the head of the company's new business ventures, to make IOC an integrated energy company. Under him, the company has already forayed into wind power generation and has joined hands with the Tatas for a thermal power plant.