Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Jun 17, 2006
Markets - IPOs
Info-Tech - Telecommunications
Gets nod for long-distance telecom licence
To enhance power transfer to 18,000 MW
New Delhi , June 16
Power Grid Corporation India Ltd (PowerGrid) on Friday said that it plans to borrow Rs 2,500 crore for its outlined capital expenditure of Rs 6,000 crore this fiscal.
The company is looking at an IPO by December this year, which would fund its expansion programme.
The debt, according to Mr J. Sridharan, Executive Finance Director, will be raised through loans or bonds.
Meanwhile, PowerGrid has reported 28.4 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 1,009 crore during 2005-06 compared to Rs 786 crore during the corresponding previous period.
Mr R.P. Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, said that the company had invested around Rs 5,000 crore last fiscal on various projects, including the development of the National Grid.
PowerGrid has already established National Grid inter-regional capacity to transfer 9,500 MW.
Mr Singh said: "We have undertaken a number of projects to enhance inter-regional power transfer capacity to 18,000 MW by 2007 and 37,200 MW by 2011-12."
The development of the National Grid will result in savings of up to Rs 60,000 crore on account of reduced capacity addition requirement, he added.
According to the provisional figure, PowerGrid's turnover in 2005-06 increased by 25.5 per cent to Rs 3,554 crore from Rs 2,831 crore earlier.
PowerGrid has also got the green signal from the Department of Telecom to take a national long-distance telecom licence. The company, with 20,000 route km of optic fibre cable network, is already offering bandwidth on lease to other telecom service providers and could soon foray into the booming national long-distance telephone market to compete with the likes of Bharti Airtel, BSNL, and Reliance Communication.
As of now, PowerGrid has Rs 100 crore worth contracts in hand for bandwidth selling. The PSU had spent over Rs 900 crore for setting up the fibre network.
While the company has connectivity in all metros and major cities, its main strength is the cable network in remote areas like the North-Eastern region, Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh.
Further, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has mandated PowerGrid to implement the East-West Transmission Corridor Strengthening Scheme at a total estimated cost of Rs 803.7 crore to be commissioned within 36 months form the date of investment approval.
The beneficiaries of this project would be the constituents of the Western Region.
The transmission project would provide high-capacity interconnection between the Eastern and Western Regions, which would help in maintaining security and stability of the interconnected grid under various operating conditions.
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