Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Jul 16, 2004
Industry & Economy
PowerGrid to float tenders for $1-b infrastructure project
The Chairman and Managing Director of PowerGrid, Mr R.P. Singh (right), with the former APSEB Chairman, Mr Narla Tata Rao (centre), and the Minister for Major Irrigation, Mr Ponnala Laxmiah, at a seminar on `Electric entities New models' in Hyderabad on Thursday . P.V. Sivakumar
Hyderabad , July 15
POWER Grid Corporation will set in motion the process for launching the $1-billion infrastructure project to cater to the power needs of the western region.
"Tenders would be floated in a month," Mr R.P. Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of the central transmission utility, told Business Line here on Thursday.
After the formation of a joint venture with the Tatas, the power utility would come out with two more joint ventures soon. With a combined out lay of Rs 1,200 crore, these two joint ventures would cater to the northern region.
Talking on the public-private route to power in the upcoming projects, he said it was estimated that PowerGrid could mobilise, from a variety of sources, Rs 50,000 crore to meet the investment target of Rs 70,000 crore during 2002-12. "For the balance Rs 20,000 crore, we thought we should tap private participation," he said.
The utility knew well that it was not an easy task to attract investments into a sector fraught with uncertainties.
"That's why we thought we should form joint ventures," Mr Singh said.
Mr Singh was in the city to address the two-day national seminar on `Electric entities: New models' organised to mark the 103rd birth anniversary of legendary engineer, Dr K.L. Rao.
Stating that inter-regional capacity to the tune of 8,500 MW had been established, he said this capacity would be enhanced to 23,000 MW by 2006-07 and 30,000 MW by 2012.
The focus was on creation of a strong and vibrant National Grid that would carry 60 per cent of the power generated in the country by 2012. This would facilitate transmission of operational surpluses over the inter-regional links and National Grid.
Mr Singh said PowerGrid has initiated talks with Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Ltd (APTransco) and a private company to offer telecom and Internet connectivity services.
"The talks are on to form a joint venture to start its services in Andhra Pradesh," he said.
The national power utility, which held an IP-II (Infrastructure Provider - II) licence and ISP-A (Internet Service Provider) licence, spent Rs 500 crore so far on its telecom business plans.
"We have prepared a Rs 934-crore plan to lay 20,000-km long optic fibre network by December and to cover 60 cities," he said.
The company had already laid 8,500-km long optic fibre on the transmission lines.
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