State-run PowerGrid Corporation, which is a central transmission utility, intends to go global as an investor and developer of the transmission system. As a beginning, PowerGrid Corporation has proposed to form a joint venture (JV) in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for the setting up of an associated transmission lines to tranmit power within the respective countries from the proposed power project planned by India’s largest power generator NTPC. It entails an investment of Rs 1,500 crore.
PowerGrid official, who did not want to be identified, told Business Standard: “We have already written to the government of India conveying our desire to be developer and investors in laying the associated transmission lines through joint venture route in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, where NTPC is setting up power projects. We want to go in for 50:50 or 74:26 JV depending on the willingness of the authorities of Bangladesh Power development Board (BPDB) and Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).” The official said in Bangladesh, where NTPC is setting up two coal based power projects, PowerGrid Corporation plans to lay 400 kv transmission line while in Sri Lanka where NTPC is developing 500 Mw coal based project, a 220 kv transmission line will be commissioned.
The official said these transmission projects entail an investment of Rs 1,500 crore. “The investment details will be known only after we prepare a detailed project report after the government of India gives its approval.
This will be PowerGrid Corp's maiden initiative to become developer and investor abroad, the official added. According to him, so far PowerGrid Corporation is engaged in providing consultancy services and turnkey execution of transmission projects in Afghanistan, Dubai, Bhutan, Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, PowerGrid has also approached the government with a plea to allow it to set up captive power plants based on renewable energy sources in order to make its operations carbon neutral. The official said: “Currently, PowerGrid Corporation draws about 200 Mw from the conventional power sources to operate their substations. If the Centre allows to set up wind or solar power projects for captive use it will pave way for becoming our operations carbon neutral. The investment is expected to be about Rs 2,000 crore.”
According to the official, PowerGrid would generate power from the proposed captive power projects, connect it to the grids and draw it through open access for the operations of its sub stations.
Pramod Deo, the chairman of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) said, “CERC will recommend PowerGrid Corporation’s case to the Central government. This will facilitate PowerGrid Corporation to sell renewable energy certificate and also claim carbon credit."