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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

NTPC lines up Rs. 30,000-cr acquisitions in power sector

Anupama Airy , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 18, 2014
First Published: 23:25 IST(18/5/2014) | Last Updated: 07:45 IST(19/5/2014)

In what would emerge as the biggest acquisition in the country’s power sector, India’s largest power company, National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) is all set to acquire Rs. 30,000 crore worth of coal-based power projects soon.

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Flooded with as many as 31 proposals in response to an expression of interest (EoI) floated by NTPC, the state-owned company is in the process of seeking board approval to invest close to Rs. 10,000 crore to acquire some of the best thermal power projects in the country that have been put up by developers including Jaypee Power, Lanco, Sterlite, GVK, GMR among others.

“We will invest anywhere up to Rs. 10,000 crore to acquire thermal power projects while the balance amount will be raised as debt,” a senior NTPC official told HT.

“The 31 proposals or EoIs that we have received were put up before the board at its last meeting on Friday,” he added.

When contacted, NTPC chairman and MD Arup Roy Choudhury refused comments saying that the process was confidential. He, however, said that the acquisition process will be completed before year-end.

The company is keen to acquire six-seven thermal projects by way of a complete takeover, NTPC officials said. Jaypee Group’s 500-MW Bina thermal project along with its 1,320-MW Nigrie thermal project in Madhya Pradesh, besides its 1,980-MW Bara project in Uttar Pradesh are on NTPC’s radar.

Spokesperson and officials of JP Power and Sterlite said they do not comment on market speculation while others were not reachable for comments. However, NTPC officials confirmed that all these developers had submitted EoIs to the company.

Fuel constraints, high borrowing costs, regulatory delays have affected infrastructure projects in India, and promoters are looking to exit, a senior power ministry official told HT. Discussions on such projects have taken place between the ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office, he added.


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