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REL to pump in Rs 50000 crore by 2012

Gayatri Ramanathan  |  Mumbai 

Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Energy will invest Rs 50,000 crore over the next five to seven years for several power generation projects. The group, which currently has only 500 mw Dahanu plant operational, is planning to add up to 10,000 mw by 2010-12.
The group has lined up close to a dozen projects, which will take the company's installed capacity to around 18,000 mw.
It also has plans of entering the nuclear power sector and has been in talks with several global majors for partnerships.
The projects are expected to see action in the coming months include two 1,000 mw plants in Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu, a 4,000 mw plant in Orissa, for which the memorandum of understanding is yet to be inked, and 2,000 mw of hydel projects in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal.
"We are now in an implementation mode," said a senior group executive. The group recently acquired the defunct 620 mw Rosa project in Uttar Pradesh from the Aditya Birla group. The Rosa plant's capacity is being doubled to 1,240 mw with REL investing around Rs 5,600 crore in it.
The company is also putting up two merchant plants of 1,000 mw capacity each - one in Tamil Nadu which will be based on imported coal and a captive mine based project in Jharkhand. "The bids for coal blocks are due on January 15.
We will be bidding aggressively for four or five blocks. Once we get some coal blocks, then quite a few of our power plants will take off," said the executive.
About the 4,000 mw Orissa project, the group executive said that the MoU was expected to be signed once the issue of the money owed by REL's distribution subsidiaries, Wesco, Southco and Nesco, is sorted out. The Electricity Appellate Tribunal is currently looking into the issue.
But the 7,500 mw Dadri project is still hanging fire for want for gas linkage. A senior group executive said, "Once the gas linkage is tied up, the project will be up and running. We have tied up everything else including finance."
Gas for the Dadri project was to come from Reliance Industries Krishna-Godavari basin. However, the issue is now in court with RIL refusing to sell gas at $ 2.98 mmbtu as per the agreement between the two
The REL official, however, did not rule out the chances of buying gas elsewhere at spot prices for the project.
In the wake of the uncertainty over gas supply, the 1,000 mw gas-based project at Shahpur in Maharashtra is being converted to a coal based project with an expanded capacity of 2000 mw.
The company has already got the required clearances and is in the process of acquiring land for the project.

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First Published: Wed, December 13 2006. 00:00 IST