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Vedanta to bid for UMPPs, coal blocks

Press Trust Of India  |  New Delhi 

Anil Agarwal

Chairman today said the company would bid for Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs) and coal blocks as and when the government puts these on auction and added it has plans of Rs 70,000 crore till 2011-12.

“We will definitely participate in bids to set up UMPPs, as the country has shortage of 78,000 Mw of power. We will also bid for coal blocks as and when auctioned,” Agarwal told PTI in a telephonic interview from London

The cash-rich group is working out ambitious investment plans of Rs 70,000 crore, a large part of which is being used for creating a total 11,000 Mw power generation capacity, he said.

On resources to fund the projects, he said, “We are cash rich and generate Rs 15,000-20,000 crore every year.”

Once the investment plans are through, the Chairman said, “We will generate $2 billion from our copper, aluminium, zinc, iron ore and power verticals.” The group has already invested Rs 35,000 crore of the total planned expenditure.

Asked about competition from Reliance Power and the Tatas, who have already won bids to set up four 4,000-Mw UMPPs, Agarwal said, “There is enough water in the sea for every one to take a dip.”

group firm Sterlite Industries raised over Rs 7,000 crore from the American market on July 16, to

part- finance its power projects entailing an estimated investment of Rs 50,000 crore.

Agarwal hopes to re-align the corporate structure of the group into commodity-focused verticals by the year-end, provided it gets the residual stakes of aluminium producer Balco and metal firm Hindustan Zinc, the majority holding of which it had bought during the tenure of the Vajpayee-led NDA government.

As the government prepares the road map to divest its equity in PSUs, he said will be interested in buying some of the loss-making firms.

Moreover, he favoured de-alienation and decentralisation of power to give a boost to the economy.

First Published: Mon, July 20 2009. 00:18 IST