In order to develop the country’s hydropower potential expeditiously, state-owned National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited was established in 1975. With over 34 years in construction and operation of hydroelectric projects in various parts of the country, NHPC, at present, supplies the much-needed peaking power especially to the northern and eastern parts of the country. Its chairman and managing director S.K. Garg spoke to HT on a range of issues. Excerpts:
Hydropower is increasingly gaining importance as the most-preferred source of power generation. What is the role of NHPC in harnessing the power?
India is endowed with hydropower potential of about 149 GW (giga watts), of which only 25 per cent has been developed so far. The remaining untapped potential provides ample opportunities to hydropower developers. NHPC is a premier central sector “Miniratna” category-I company with a market cap of about R36,000 crore and net worth of R23,273 crore. The company has successfully implemented specialised enterprise resource planning system to efficiently manage the optimum utilisation of generating assets and expeditious implementation of construction projects
What is the business profile of NHPC? What are the initiatives taken to enhance that?
NHPC’s core business is construction of hydroelectric projects for generation and sale of electricity. NHPC has recently commissioned 120 MW Sewa-II Project in Jammu and Kashmir. With the commissioning of Sewa II, NHPC’s total installed capacity is 5295 MW with 14 hydropower stations. NHPC generates about 17,000 million units annually from its power stations. With another 10 projects totalling 4,500 MW under active construction, the company is poised to become a 9500 MW company likely by 2013.
What are your targets for 11th Five Year Plan period? What steps are being taken up to meet these targets? The company had set target to commission 12 projects with aggregate installed capacity of 5,322 MW during XI plan (2007-12). Out of these, three projects with aggregate installed capacity of 1,150 MW including the recently completed 120 MW Sewa-II Project in Jammu and Kashmir have already been commissioned.
Is NHPC contemplating overseas expansion?
The expertise available with NHPC is being utilised in the area of hydropower development in countries such as Bhutan, Myanmar and Tajikistan. The company plans to continue expanding its international operations and help harness the hydropower potential available internationally by leveraging its existing relationships. The power ministry has worked out an ‘Action Plan’ for hydropower development of 10,000 MW in Bhutan by the year 2020.