• Bajaj Hindusthan to sell 17.51 per cent stake in groups power firm LPGCL

    •    Source: PTI, The Financial Express / New Delhi, 12th July 2018 Published on : 12th July 2018


      Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar plans to sell its entire 17.51 per cent stake in the group firm Lalitpur Power Generation Company Ltd (LPGCL), estimated to be worth Rs 1,100 crore.

      The company had invested Rs 770 crore in LPGCL and now needs to divest non-core assets as per the debt restructuring scheme approved by the lenders. Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar has convened an extraordinary general meeting on August 4 to seek shareholders’ approval for sale of its share in LPGCL to another group firm Bajaj Energy Ltd.

      In a notice to shareholders, Bajaj Hindusthan said that the company’s investment in LPGCL has been identified as “non-core to the sugar and allied business activities”. The company holds 1,54,39,900 shares of Rs 10 each, constituting 17.51 per cent of the paid up capital of LPGCL.

      “The cost of investment by the company for 17.51 per cent equity shares in LPGCL is Rs 770.13 crore,” the company said, adding that these shares are presently pledged against the loan facilities availed by the company and LPGCL.

      LPGCL has completed the work on setting up of its 1980 MW (3×660 MW) coal-based supercritical thermal power project at Lalitpur district in Uttar Pradesh and it is operating with full capacity since December 2016.

      As per the restructuring schemes, Bajaj Hindusthan said it is required to “bring back the funds invested in LPGCL, which shall be utilised in accordance with the directions of the lenders”. The company’s board had on July 6 approved the sale of LPGCL shares to Bajaj Energy, which is a related party of the company.

      On the consideration for this stake sale, Bajaj Hindusthan informed that a CA firm and independent valuer Mehta Choksi & Shah have valued the equity shares of LPGCL at Rs 710.84 per share. “Based on the above the value of 1,54,39,900 equity shares of LPGCL held by company aggregates to Rs 1,097.53 crore,” the notice said.

      Bajaj Hindusthan said the company incurred losses during financial years 2011-12, 2012-14 (18 months), 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2017-18 due to lower realisation in the sugar business, resulting in increase in debt levels.

      The company said the “sugar industry has passed through a prolonged cyclical downturn primarily characterised by high sugarcane prices, surplus sugar production and high carry over inventory with consequent lower realisations”.

      The company’s lenders had implemented debt restructuring scheme firstly under JLF route in 2014 and thereafter under the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) in 2017. Bajaj Hindusthan has 14 mills in Uttar Pradesh with cane crushing capacity of 1.36 lakh tonne per day.

      Besides sugar, the Shishir Bajaj-led Bajaj Group has interests in power, ethanol, real estate, personal care products and infrastructure. The group’s power venture includes Bajaj Energy, with 450 MW thermal power generation commissioned in 2012 and LPGCL with a total of 1,980 MW thermal power generation capacity.

      Last year, Bajaj Hindusthan had shelved its plan to sell its co-generation power business, having 449 MW capacity at 14 locations in UP, to LPGCL for about Rs 1,200 crore.


  • NTPC puts off plan to sell Kayamkulam unit to Kerala government

    •    Source: M Sarita Verma, The Financial Express / Thiruvananthpuram, 12th July 2018 Published on : 12th July 2018


      NTPC, currently high on solar energy plans, has shelved the plan to sell its Kayamkulam facility (Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Station – RGCCPS) to the Kerala government. It was the Union power ministry that had first mooted sale of RGCCPS-Kayamkulam to the Kerala government. In fact, Union power minister Piyush Goyal and Kerala power minister MM Mani had even arrived at an in-principle understanding on the sale before price became a contentious issue. The plant faced poor demand arising out of high cost of production. Rise in prices of naphtha, the fuel used in the plant, has been the main reason behind unprofitable operations.

      Interestingly, NTPC, which is reluctant to sell RGCCPS to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), is counting on selling solar energy (proposed to be generated in RGCCPS) to the KSEB. In March this year, NTPC installed a 100 kwp floating solar PV plant, the country’s largest solar panel of its kind, at its Kayamkulam station. This floating platform was indigenously developed by the NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance, the R&D arm of NTPC, in collaboration with the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology.

      Sources in the KSEB confirmed that NTPC has declined to go ahead with further discussions over selling RGCCPS to the state government. The KSEB, meanwhile, is sceptic about the feasibility of receiving solar power from RGCCPS to the grid, as it could cause voltage surge and other technical glitches, officials told FE.

      Through RGCCPS-Kayamkulam, NTPC has offered to supply solar power to Kerala at a rate of Rs 3 per unit. On May 11, NTPC and KSEB had signed an MoU that includes an agreement to set up a 15 MW solar power unit in the Kayamkulam station.The Kerala government, which had given 1,000 acre free of cost to set up the Kayamkulam plant, wants to get back the premises with the power station at depreciated value. Meanwhile, NTPC spokesperson at Kayamkulam said talks of NTPC Kayakmulam changing hands were baseless and that the unit was busy with plans to enhance solar energy generation.

  • Sterlite Power bags 6 projects in Brazil for $1 bn

    •    Source: FE Bureau, The Financial Express / Mumbai, 12th July 2018 Published on : 12th July 2018


      Sterlite Power, part of Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Group, has secured six new transmission projects in Brazil at an investment of $1 billion in the latest round of auctions. The six lots are the largest in terms of capacity and aggregates to 65% of the total capital expenditure under auction by Brazil’s electricity regulatory authority.

      Sterlite Power had earlier won two projects in 2017 for which the company achieved environmental clearance and finalised an EPC contractor. The commissioning of projects are seen between 2019 and 2021. The company will invest close to $1.7 billion on all the projects put together out of its planned investment of $4 billion in Brazil.

      Pratik Agarwal, Group CEO of Sterlite Power, said, “We have the appetite for more projects in the region and will be open to bidding in the next round of auctions that will happen in November-December.” “We have operating assets in India that provide the financial visibility to invest in further expansion. The equity contribution of 25% will be met through internal accruals, while debt funding is easily available for such projects in the local market at cheap rates,” Agarwal said.

  • Madhya Pradesh power schemes: 38 lakh people register themselves in 10 days

    •    Source: PTI, The Financial Express / Bhopal, 12th July 2018 Published on : 12th July 2018


      Within 10 days of the launch of the Madhya Pradesh government’s subsidised power scheme and outstanding power bill waiver scheme, over 38 lakh people have registered themselves to avail the benefits, an official said here today.

      As per the Mukhyamantri Jan Kalyan (Sambal) Yojana 2018 (subsidised power scheme), labourers falling under the unorganised sector in the state will get power at Rs 200 per month.

      Under the power bill waiver scheme, named Bijli Bill Mafi Yojana, pending dues (as on June 1, 2018) of registered labourers of the unorganised sector and poor families would be waived completely. Both the schemes came into effect from July 1.

      A Public relations department official said under the subsidised power scheme, over 14.55 lakh people have so far registered themselves, while under the power bill waiver scheme, 24.41 lakh consumers have registered their names to avail the benefits. “Over 38.90 lakh consumers have registered themselves for these two power schemes collectively. The scheme were approved by the state cabinet on June 5,” the official added.

      Under the subsidised power scheme, the registered labourers of the unorganised sector and Below Poverty Line (BPL) families would be provided electricity at a cost of Rs 200 per month. People not using air-conditioners, electric heaters and whose power consumption is below 1,000 watts would be eligible for the scheme. The beneficiaries can operate a fan, a television and bulbs. These schemes are expected to benefit 88 lakh families in the state, the official said.

  • Tata, Fortum win Karnataka solar tender for Rs 2.85/unit

    •    Source: FE Bureau, The Financial Express / New Delhi, 12th July 2018 Published on : 12th July 2018


      Tata Power and Finnish firm Fortum’s Indian unit have been awarded 250 MW each of solar projects at the Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka’s Tumkur district. Both the companies agreed to sell power from the upcoming solar projects at Rs 2.85/unit.

      According to sources in Karnataka Renewable Energy Development (KREDL), Tata had initially quoted Rs 2.88/unit while Fortum’s first bid was Rs 2.91/unit. The companies would now have to sign PPAs with the five electricity distribution companies (discoms) in a month. Capacities that would be tied up with each PPA would be related to the requirement ratio of discoms.

      The projects are expected to be commissioned within 12 months from the date of signing of the PPAs. KREDL is soon expected to come up with another 150 MW of solar tenders for the same park. Authorities are contemplating to follow the engineering-procurement-construction (EPC), instead of the build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT), in upcoming 150 MW tender, an official said.

      Initially, Karnataka had invited tenders for 1,200 MW, but received tenders for only 550 MW, due to the threat of safeguard and import duties on solar panels, leading to cancellation of bids.

  • Stranded power plants: Stakeholders to meet on Saturday

    •    Source: Ksenia Kondratieva, The Hindu Business Line / Mumbai, 12th July 2018 Published on : 12th July 2018


      A meeting of stakeholders on three stranded coal-based power projects of Adani Power, Tata Power and Essar Power in Gujarat has been called by SBI Caps in Mumbai on Saturday.

      This will be the second meeting of the recently formed High Power Committee (HPC) consisting of former Supreme Court judge RK Agrawal, former RBI Deputy Governor SS Mundra and former Chairman of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission Pramod Deo. The first meeting of the committee, chaired by Agrawal, was conducted last Monday.

      The HPC was formed by the Gujarat government. According to the order, the HPC will review the report of the working group of the lenders released in January and will suggest means “for early resolution of the issues” relating to the three coastal projects.

      According to an industry source, some of the options that could be taken up for consideration by the committee are revising the PPAs and hiking the tariff as well as adopting a methodology for imported coal price pass-through to secure viable operations of the power plants, as suggested by CERC in 2016.

      “They will consider making coal a pass-through. And they might adjust some capacity charge downwards, so that the developers can at least service their debt,” a source said.

  • Solar power tariff jumps to Rs 3.48 per unit in 1 GW UP auction

    •    Source: PTI, ETEnergyWorld / New Delhi, 12th July 2018 Published on : 12th July 2018


      Higher land prices have pushed the solar power tariff to Rs 3.48 per unit in the 1 Gw capacities auction conducted by Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA), according to a source.

      The Rs 3.48 per unit tariff is higher than Rs 2.70 per unit quoted in an auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for 750 Mw Solar PV earlier this month. Solar tariff had touched all time low of Rs 2.44 per unit last year in May.

      The source said that the UPNEDA conducted the auction for 1 Gw capacities, allowing bidders to quote multiple bids for different packages and the tariff remained higher at Rs 3.48 per unit than the recent bid of Rs 2.7 per unit due to expensive land prices in Uttar Pradesh.

      The developers will install this solar capacities across the state. The UPNEDA concluded the auction late in the evening on Tuesday.

      According to the source, Adani Group firm Mahoba Solar (UP) quoted lowest tariff of Rs 3.48 per unit to develop 250 Mw of projects. The company quoted Rs 3.48 per unit tariff for five packages of 50 Mw each. Similarly, Maheshwari Mining & Energy also quoted Rs 3.48 to develop 20 Mw.

      ACME Solar Holdings quoted Rs 3.54 per unit to develop 150 Mw of solar PV projects and Rs 3.55 per unit to develop another 150 Mw of solar PV projects.  Feynman (Canadian Solar) and Sukhbir Agro Energy quoted Rs 3.54 per unit to develop 50 Mw of projects each.

      Rays Power Infra and EDEN Renewables also quoted Rs 3.55 per unit to develop 50 Mw each. The Azure Power also quoted Rs 3.55 per unit to develop 160 Mw. Hero Solar Energy also quoted Rs 3.55 for 50 Mw capacities.

      Commenting on his firm winning 300 Mw in this auction, ACME Group Founder and Chairman Manoj Kumar Upadhyay said: "With consistently offering most competitive tariff and highest solar power generation, ACME has become the leader in solar power generation in India. This has entrusted a huge responsibility on us to chart the future ahead in solar power in India".

      "I am confident that with this addition of 300 Mw capacity, ACME will strive to achieve highest efficiency in solar power generation and strengthen its partnership with the government in building a strong nation and economy," said Upadhyay.