MUMBAI (AFP) - French nuclear power engineering company Areva is to sign a deal this week with a number of Indian energy plants, France's foreign trade minister Anne-Marie Idrac said here Sunday. Idrac said that a memorandum of understanding would be signed in the coming days, as part of French moves to tap into India's expanding civil nuclear sector. The minister declined to say exactly how many plants were involved in the tie-up, but French officials accompanying her on the four-day trip said it would be a "significant number". Areva announced in December last year that it will deliver 300 tonnes of uranium to India under an agreement signed between the two countries three months earlier. The uranium will go to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and is the first such shipment since a 34-year embargo on international nuclear trade with India was lifted in September. The embargo was put in place after India tested nuclear weapons in 1974. It tested them again in 1998 and refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Russia, Canada and the United States have also signed agreements with India but Moscow " New Delhi's former Cold War ally " is the only state actively involved in building reactors in the country. Nuclear power supplies about three percent of India's fuel needs but the government aims to hike this to about 25 percent by mid-century, lessening dependence on oil imports and coal to sustain its fast-growing economy.