Public sector power company NTPC Limited today said it was actively looking at close to seven private power projects for possible acquisition.
“We are looking at a set of projects whose developers no more want to remain in the sector for various reasons. These projects are at different stages of development,” Arup Roy Choudhary, chairman and managing director of NTPC Limited, said. Some of these projects are as big as the size of 2,000 Mw, according to him.
He said the company would pursue the course of inorganic growth along with the existing expansion plans. Responding to a question, he said the company had adequate resources to fund these acquisitions.
Most of these seven projects are coal-fired stations and also possess fuel linkages, he said while refusing to give further details.
It may be recalled that several private power developers in the country are looking at selling their assets mid way, some of them are at the advanced stage of development, owing to issues like delayed clearances and also to lessen the debt burden.
Roy, who was here to inaugurate a 10-Mw solar power project set up at Ramagundam thermal power station in Karimnagar district, said the company was geared up to not only meet the current Five Year Plan target of executing 12,000 Mw but was also working on a total of 20,000 Mw capacity projects.
The company had already appointed merchant bankers and was also in the process of appointing some more to work on the acquisition plans. It is currently doing due diligence of these target assets, he said.
When asked if the acquisition targets are the stressed assets, Choudhary said the power sector had no place for fly-by-night operators and also for those who look for windfall profits
On the new gas prices, he said no consumer could afford to buy power produced from natural gas priced at over $8 dollar for mBtu and even the present price of $4.2 was not affordable to many. To overcome this problem, the power sector should have a price parity with that of the fertiliser sector, according to him.
About 10 per cent of the 42,500 Mw-plus installed capacity owned by NTPC is under the gas power category. The company had participated in the bidding for oil and gas block allocations in the past and is expecting to see some progress on gas production in these blocks by this time next year.
Besides the thermal projects, it is also planning to develop renewal energy portfolio to have 27-29 per cent of the total capacity under non fossil fuel-based power generation.
On the possible expansion of the Ramagundam thermal power project in the light of the power deficit situation being faced by the Telangana region, Roy said the company was ready to do it provided the state allocated additional coal from Singareni collieries.