• Power generation rises 5.8% in January

    •    Source: FE Bureau, The Financial Express / New Delhi, 22nd February 2018 Published on : 22nd February 2018


      In what could be seen as a silver lining for the power sector, generation from conventional sources went up by 5.8% year-on-year in January to 101.1 billion units (BU). Since electricity cannot be stored, generation is the most robust indicator of demand.

      At 158.5 GW, peak demand for electricity in the first month of 2018 was 6.9% higher than the corresponding month the previous year. The peak demand in the ongoing financial year has been 164 GW, against current installed power capacity (including renewables) of 334 GW. For the first 10 months of FY18, the overall thermal generation went up by 4.1% to 1,003.1 BU.

      The plant load factor (PLF) at coal-based power plants was 62.5% in January, more than two percentage points higher than the same month last year. However, although PLFs for government-run power plants improved, the same for private power plants slipped further to less than 55%.

      There was power supply shortage of 1.1% during the hours when electricity demand was the highest (peak deficit) in January. Rajasthan recorded a peak shortage of 158 MW (1.3%), second only to J&K at 580 MW (20%). The all-India peak deficit was 2% for the April-January period.

  • KERC to consult ESCOMS on providing three-phase power to rural areas during daytime

    •    Source: Special Correspondent, The Hindu / 22nd February 2018 Published on : 22nd February 2018


      The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) will discuss with all the Electricity Supply Companies (ESCOMS) if it is possible to provide three-phase power supply to rural areas during day-time.

      While conducting a public hearing on the proposed power tariff hike by Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC) here, the State secretary of Bharatiya Kishan Sangh Rajendra Ramapura said that farmers face a lot of inconvenience when the three-phase power supply to the rural areas is restricted to night time. Besides losing sleep, the farmers have also become victims of snake bites and suffered other mishaps.

      In response, Shankarlinge Gowda, chairman, KERC, said the commission will discuss the issue with other ESCOMs also to explore the possibility of supplying three-phase power to rural areas during the day time instead of night.

  • Adani Group to invest Rs 35,000 cr in UP

    •    Source: PTI, The Hindu Business Line / Lucknow, 22nd February 2018 Published on : 22nd February 2018


      Adani Group today said it will invest Rs 35,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh over the next five years in various sectors. Promising to stand with the leadership in transforming the state, Gautam Adani of the Adani Group committed an aggregate investment of Rs 35,000 crores in UP.

      Speaking at the inaugural session of the Investors Summit- 2018 here, Adani said energy, logistics, solar power, roads and agriculture are among the core sectors in which his group is working and showed interest in investing in these fields.

      “Almost 17 per cent of the total population of the country lives in Uttar Pradesh...the development story of the country cannot be written without the state,” Adani said.

  • Uttar Pradesh Investors Summit: Avaada Power commits Rs10,000 crore

    •    Source: PTI, Live Mint / Lucknow, 22nd February 2018 Published on : 22nd February 2018


      Avaada Power, a clean energy company, on Wednesday said it will invest Rs10,000 crore in setting up 1,600MW solar projects in Uttar Pradesh.

      The firm signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UP government during Investors Summit 2018, in Lucknow. “The projects will be developed across Mirzapur, Badaun, Gorakhpur and Bundelkhand districts,” the company said in a statement adding that the investment will churn out nearly 3,700 jobs.

      Avaada’s projects will help UP meet its annual target of 2,000MW production capacity of solar energy. The state has an installed capacity of 569.35MW solar energy and has the potential to touch a high generation figure of 22.8GW.

      “With its solar commitment, the organisation will be able to mitigate nearly 25,79,820 tonne of carbon emissions on an annual basis. Clean energy generated through these projects will be enough to power nearly 7.44 million households in UP,” the statement said.

      Chairman of Avaada Group Vineet Mittal said: “We are geared up to support UP’s mission of utilising the potential of the sun to power its development needs sustainably. We are working aggressively to help catapult the state on the clean energy trajectory.”

      UP falls under high solar irradiation zone, which offers tremendous opportunities for expanding its clean energy portfolio. “This MoU will enable UP to be the front runner in achieving Prime Minister’s vision of 100 GW of solar energy by 2022,” he said.

      “The company is committed to providing affordable, clean and abundant power for the country and will continue to focus on innovative green technologies,” Mittal added. Avaada Power has a portfolio of nearly 1GW.

  • CLP India eyes Essel Infraprojectss power transmission business

    •    Source: Utpal Bhaskar, Live Mint / New Delhi, 22nd February 2018 Published on : 22nd February 2018


      CLP India Pvt. Ltd, one of the largest foreign investors in the Indian power sector, is interested in acquiring Essel Infraprojects Ltd’s power transmission business at a potential valuation of around $1 billion.

      This makes it the second company—apart from Greenko Group, backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Holdings Pte and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority—to evince interest in acquiring these assets.

      Mint reported on 15 January about Hyderabad-based Greenko’s interest in Essel Infraprojects’ transmission business amid low green energy tariffs in India that will likely squeeze project developers’ profitability.

      “There are at least two firms who are eyeing Essel Infraprojects’ transmission business. They include CLP and Greenko Group,” said a person aware of the development requesting anonymity. Essel Infraprojects has five transmission projects in its portfolio. Essel Group has presence across green energy, transportation, electricity transmission and distribution, and urban infrastructure.

      Experts say that transmission projects, on their part, are considered to be a safer bet, given the annuity nature of the business and risks such as land acquisition, right of way and forest clearance are restricted to the construction stage.

      “CLP has been one of the early foreign entrants into the Indian power sector, and has in recent times, moved from the conventional energy space into building a large renewable generation portfolio, which is in line with their objective to reduce their carbon exposure. CLP is also evaluating listing in the Indian markets, and acquiring a stable portfolio with guaranteed annuity flows like transmission would be in line with this objective,” said Chandan Mishra, director, power and utilities at PwC India.

      With 1,000 megawatts (MW), CLP India has one of the largest wind power portfolios in the country. In addition, CLP India has an installed capacity of 2,000MW from coal, gas and solar projects. An external spokesperson for Essel Group declined to comment. A CLP spokesperson also declined to comment.

      Mint also reported on 19 January about Canada’s second largest pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec looking to acquire a stake in the Indian unit of Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed CLP Holdings Ltd. Such an investment, if it happens, will help CLP access a large corpus that can be deployed for a longer period.

      “Essel’s current portfolio of assets is attractive from the perspective of their tariff streams and could be an attractive proposition for new players entering through the acquisition route though valuations may be a concern,” added PwC’s Mishra.

      CLP Holdings, founded in 1901 as China Light and Power Co. Ltd in Hong Kong, is among the two significant overseas entrants in India’s power generation sector along with US-based AES Corp. While it had articulated its intent in 2012 about withdrawing the India operations, it later changed its plans.

      CLP is one of the largest investor-owned power businesses in the Asia Pacific and is present across Hong Kong, China, India, South-East Asia, Taiwan and Australia across fuel sources such as coal, gas, nuclear and renewable.

      Essel Infraprojects also plans to sell its solar business with Greenko Group and Hero Future Energies Pvt. Ltd separately looking to acquire it, Mint reported on 5 February.

  • Shell may buy majority stake in solar power firm Fourth Partner Energy

    •    Source: Utpal Bhaskar, Live Mint / New Delhi, 22nd February 2018 Published on : 22nd February 2018


      Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s second-biggest publicly traded oil company, plans to acquire a majority stake in Hyderabad-based rooftop solar firm Fourth Partner Energy, two people aware of the development said.

      Shell is looking to buy a “significant stake” in Fourth Partner Energy, said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity. The second person said Shell is looking to acquire a majority in the firm.

      Shell’s interest in Fourth Partner Energy comes amid the central government’s ambitious plans to set up 175 gigawatt (GW) of clean energy capacity by 2022. Of this, 40GW is to come from rooftop solar projects.

      The Anglo-Dutch company runs a liquefied natural gas terminal at Hazira on India’s west coast and is the operator of the Panna-Mukta-Tapti fields, in a joint venture with state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. and Reliance Industries Ltd. It is among the few foreign oil companies to have a fuel retail licence in the country.

      Shell has been looking at the clean energy space in India for some time now. Mint reported on 10 February last year about Shell’s interest in solar power producer Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd. In one of the largest overseas investments in the Indian rooftop solar space, Warburg Pincus agreed to invest as much as $100 million in CleanMax Solar in July last year.

      In 2015, infrastructure investment manager I Squared Capital, announced its $150 million investment in Amplus Energy. While queries emailed to Fourth Partner Energy’s founders Saif Dhorajiwala and Vivek Subramanian remained unanswered, Aditya Gupta, senior manager, business development, at the firm in an emailed response said, “We regret that we do not have any news to share with you in this regard.”

      “Shell does not comment on speculation,” a Shell India spokesperson said in an emailed response. Some of the global oil companies interested in the Indian clean energy space as reported by Mint include Norway’s Statoil ASA, France’s Total SA and Russia’s OAO Rosneft.

      In a move that may impact solar project developers, the Indian government is conducting an anti-dumping investigation on solar equipment imports from China, Taiwan and Malaysia.

      The government is also considering levying a 70% provisional safeguard duty on imported solar panels and modules from China and Malaysia, as recommended by the directorate general of safeguards. A final decision is awaited.

      India’s green power tariffs have remained near a record low. While solar power tariffs rose to Rs2.65 per kilowatt hour (kWh) at an auction conducted by the Gujarat government in September, last December’s auctions conducted by Solar Energy Corp. threw up winning bids of Rs2.47 and Rs2.48 per unit. This hasn’t dissuaded overseas firms including solar equipment makers from setting up base here.

      China’s LONGi Green Energy Technology Co. Ltd, for example, said it plans to invest $309 million investment to set up a solar equipment manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh.


  • Creditors reject Liberty House bid for Bhushan Power and Steel

    •    Source: PTI, Live Mint / New Delhi, 22nd February 2018 Published on : 22nd February 2018


      The committee of creditors (COC) has rejected the bid of UK-based Liberty House to acquire Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd, leaving Tata Steel and JSW Steel in the race for taking over the assets of the bankrupt firm, a person in the know said.

      “Committee of creditors (COC) in a meeting today has rejected the bids of Liberty House (of the UK) because the company submitted the bids after the last date of submission date which was February 8,” a person privy to the development said.

      Liberty House had submitted the bid on Tuesday, he said. In Wednesday’s COC meeting the bids of Tata Steel and JSW Steel were disclosed and now the process as well as legal advisors evaluate them, the person said.

      The detailed terms and conditions of the bids were disclosed to the lenders at the meeting, the person said. Bhushan Power and Steel owes about Rs45,000 crore to its lenders. When contacted, resolution professional (RP) Mahender Kumar Khandelwal declined to comment on the developments.

      The person in the know said that while Tata Steel offered Rs17,000 crore to the lenders as upfront amount and Rs7,200 crore for operations of Bhushan, JSW made an offer of Rs11,000 crore to the lenders and Rs2,000 crore for the operations of the beleaguered power firm.

      The COC will now meet on 6 March to take the process forward, including declaration of the highest bidder. Bhushan Steel and Power was among the 12 non-performing accounts referred by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) proceedings.

      The insolvency process was filed by State Bank of India (SBI), the lead bank of the consortium of lenders, in the case of Bhushan Steel while a similar plea was filed by Punjab National Bank (PNB) against Bhushan Power and Steel.