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CESC eyes more power plant buyouts

Sanjiv Goenka-controlled CESC is eyeing acquisition of power generation assets.

The Kolkata-headquartered power utility has told investors that it sees “acquisition of generation assets and fuel security for new projects” as its “growth opportunities”.

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CESC’s last acquisition of generation asset happened in 2009 when it acquired a 600 mw power plant in Chandrapur, about 150 km from Nagpur being built by Dhariwal Infrastructure Pvt Ltd owned by the Manikchand Group.

“We are keen to add generation capacity across the country,” said Sanjiv Goenka.

Sanjiv Goenka’s relook at acquisition strategy comes at a time when the Chandrapur plant, despite getting commissioned recently, is yet to start generation.

“Both units of the project (of 300 mw each) has been commissioned. The project is not generating power due to pending Fuel Supply Agreement, lack of adequate Power Purchase Agreement and connectivity issues in the PPA. Efforts are underway to secure more PPAs and sign FSA with Coal India,” CESC has said in an investors’ presentation post earnings.

The Chandrapur project is suffering because of a change in the government policy in April on norm for ownership change of power plants that would trigger snapping of coal supplies from Coal India, dna had reported.

Coal India’s subsidiary South Eastern Coalfields had refused to sign FSA with Dhariwal citing violation of existing norms, Now that the policy has been decided, CESC would need to apply for fresh FSA for its Maharashtra plant.

PPA for only 100 mw signed with TANGEDCOTamil Nadu General and Distribution Corporation an electrical power generation and distribution public sector undertaking that is owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu. It was formed on 1 November 2010 under section 131 of the Electricity Act of 2003,... while negotiations for the rest are currently on, Goenka said.

Another new power project of similar capacity of 600 mw commissioned at Haldia has started generation recently.

The project, however, has suffered initial losses incurred due to “‘ramping up issues and capitalisation of income prior to full commissioning”, CESC has disclosed.

CESC’s revival of its long planned 1320 mw project at Balagarh in West Bengal depends on the ability of the company to win coal linkages in the upcoming e-auction.

“In the e-auction of coal linkages, Balagarh will have a natural advantage,” he said.

Apart from thermal power, renewable would be another focus area with “major thrust on clean energy generation including wind, solar and hydro”, the presentation said.

“We are adding 17 mw solar power capacity in Tamil Nadu within the next couple of months taking our total renewable capacity to 75 mw,” Goenka recently said during an earnings press conference.

CESC currently has 50 mw wind power capacities in Rajasthan and Gujarat and 25 mw solar capacities in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

Its total thermal and renewable generation capacities stand at 2,524 mw.




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