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CESC for $1bn in new units

business Updated: Dec 14, 2009 21:33 IST
Aniruddha Basu

Power utility CESC Ltd has been awarded a hydro power project by the Himachal Pradesh government and will spend $1 billion(Rs 4,674 crore) over five years in equity for various projects, a top official said.

“We have been allocated one project in Himachal Pradesh at Lara-Sumta which is a 140 mw hydroproject,” said Sanjiv Goenka, vice chairman on Monday. “It has been awarded to us on a competitive bidding process,” Goenka said.

The project marks the diversification of CESC into the hydro power space from its traditional focus on thermal power generation and distribution.

“We are looking at more (hydro power projects), provided we are convinced the projects are good,” he said.

Goenka said the firm would invest $1 billion as equity component for its various projects over the next 4-5 years.

CESC has acquired over 50 per cent stake in unlisted Dhariwal Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (DIPL), which is seting up a thermal generating power station at Chandrapur in Maharashtra.

Goenka said the firm, which is expanding its power business outside its traditional stronghold of West Bengal, has achieved financial closure for the 600 mw Chandrapur project.

It also expects to achieve financial closure for another 600 megawatt (mw) power project in Haldia, West Bengal shortly and was also talking to local players to acquire power projects.

“We are in talks with more than one, but there is no time line to the negotiations,” Goenka, who did not provide any size for the proposed acquisitions, said. The power plants could have a capacity of 600 mw or more, he said.

CESC is also setting up 3 power projects of 1,320 mw each in Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand.

It was also looking to buy coal mines in countries including Indonesia and Mozambique but had not yet found a suitable buy.

CESC will add up to 12 large format stores, with an area of up to 40,000 square feet each, under its retail arm Spencer's over the next four months .

The stores having will come up in various metros including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. CESC currently runs 226 Spencer's stores in India.