Paradigm Shift: A Giant Leap Generating Power In Plenty

A Giant Leap Generating Power In Plenty

Placing economy on the high growth trajectory, the Union Power Ministry has assigned top priority to push power generation capacity to a new high and nearly half of the targeted $1 trillion infrastructure fund for the 12th Five Year Plan period has been earmarked for the power sector to achieve a capacity addition of about 1,00,000mw. The emerging business opportunities in the Indian power sector virtually set the domestic and global power generating giants on the prowl and they are currently vying with one another to lap up more power projects. That apart, green power is turning out to be a game changer for the country as prime solar power players across Asia, Europe and North America are descending India in droves to pick up a share of $70 billion program to build 20 gigawatt (gw) of solar power capacity from the current 30mw by 2022. Reports Jeet Singh.

Pushing Power Generation

The Union Government has set a challenging target of attaining 78,000mw power generation capacity in the current Plan period, however, during the mid-term review it was reduced to 62,374mw. Chasing the target, it has already added 24,367 mw in the first three years and power plants with a generation capacity of 13,000mw are nearing completion and the capacity would be enhanced in the next couple of months. In addition, capacity addition of 40,072mw is likely to be added during the remaining months of 11th Plan period. The achievement is commendable as compared to the last Plan periods when just 21,080mw was added against the targeted figure of 41,000mw and less than half of the target was achieve in the 9th Plan period. Capacity aggregating 60,600mw is under various stages of execution and implementation and is likely to be added in the beginning of 12th Five Year Plan.

Ensuring sustainable and accelerated power generation, the power sector requires a total investment of $155 billion and government is currently going all out to mobilize resources to generate funds to meet its requirements. It has doubled the allocation for the sector from Rs.2,230 crore in the last Budget to Rs.5,130 crore, apart from fixing a huge plan outlay hike of over 61% for green energy sector. In the current Budget, government has increased its share from Rs.620 crore in the last Budget to Rs.1200 crore. In addition, incentives including Customs Duty concession to machinery instruments, electrical equipment and appliances have been provided. Likewise equipment used for setting up photo-voltaic and solar thermal power generating units have also been exempted from the Central Excise Duty and the initiatives attracting multinationals and domestic players to set up green energy generation units across the country. The entire process has brought about a paradigm shift as they are creating an eco-system for solar energy, geothermal energy and gas based power generation plants.

Current Scenario

After allocating sufficient infrastructure funds for the Twelfth Five Year Plan 2012-17, the government has decided to add 20,000 mw of power per annum and to bridge the gap between the requirement and availability of power, it has invited private sector companies to chip in to achieve the targeted power generation. Currently, 60,000 mw power projects are being executed by private sector companies and the rate of addition will be 15,000mw per annum. If this can be sustained for the next 10 years, the power deficiency that exists today can overcome in the next two decades. Out of the $500 billion investments targeted for infrastructure sector for the current Plan period 36% equivalent to $154 billion had come through the public private partnership (PPP) route however, the preceding Plan period had attracted $47 billion through the PPP route.

Similarly, of the $1 trillion funds planned for the 12th Five Year Plan for infrastructure sector, 50% equivalent to $500 billion is expected to flow through the PPP route and the entire amount has to be funded and there is no limit in the growth potential in the power sector in the immediate future.

Funding Strategies

A Giant Leap Generating Power In Plenty
Apart from providing various funding facilities to power producers in the private sector, the government has decided to set up separate company with a provision of funds worth Rs.50,000 crore to ensure smooth flow of funds to the mega power projects. Such an entity has been aimed at ensuring sufficient availability of funds for power projects being built by the government owned firms as India is committed to build projects under which cumulative capacity addition of 10,000 mw per annum has to be achieved till 2020. For doing so, the country has to take up a large number of projects in one go on fast track basis requiring huge investment to the tune of Rs.4,500 crore per annum till 2020. As per preliminary plans, the state run companies will get preference for projects up to 10,000 mw while the separate firm will take up projects beyond the 10,000mw that have already been committed. The Prime Minister has reportedly directed the power and external affairs ministries to explore the possibility of setting up a separate company to build hydel plants in Bhutan under the inter-governmental deal. In addition to this, the Indian power generation giants are currently engaged in setting up joint ventures in neighboring countries including Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.  

In addition, the Government is contemplating on an ambitious plan of over $1 billion sovereign backed investment for building South Asian regional energy grid with focus on renewable sectors including hydro, solar and wind energy. In this connection, it has recently directed the Export Import Bank of India (Exim) and the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) to evolve strategies. The actual plan is to step up investments by domestic firms led by renewable energy players and transmission utilities including Suzlon Energy, Moser Baer, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, NHPC and Power Grid in the neighboring countries including Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. The ECGC will handle the financial requirements of the small sized, medium-and long-term projects and it would be used for strategically important power projects only in cases where the repayment schedule is over five years and the reinsurance support is not available.  All such projects will have to be cleared by a working group comprising RBI, Exim Bank and a consortium of bankers. As per plans India has decided to set up a pan South Asia electricity ring that envisages interconnection with Bhutan contributing $850 million, Nepal $50 million Sri Lanka $415 million and Bangladesh $220 million with a combined energy generation capacity of over 5,000mw. The Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) has planned to raise funds worth Rs.28,000 crore during the current fiscal. To diversify its investors’ base and exploit offshore market at competitive rates, it has decided to raise external commercial borrowings (ECBs) worth $1billion as foreign debts.

Projects Nearing Completion

Assisting nation to achieve its targeted power generation capacity, the Adani Power group is in the process of completing its 4,000mw coal fired power plant in the vicinity of its existing power plant at Mundra in the Kutch district of Gujarat at an investment of Rs.3,5000 crore. The new plant is coming up at Bhadresar, a small town between Mundra and Adipur having link with a private rail line developed by the Adanis. The GVK Energy Limited, which is its sub holding company, is in the process of setting up a Rs.1,500 crore power plant at GVK Jegrupadu. In addition, it is also setting up a gas based power plant at GVK Gauthami downstream Andhra Pradesh and also another project at Govindwal Sahib. The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has commissioned its 120 mw Sewa-II hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir thereby taking its installed capacity to 5295mw and the plant will generate 534 million units of energy in the hill state. The Bhilwara Energy Limited (BEL) is augmenting its generation capacity of its existing power plants to 2,500mw at an investment of $50 million. It has decided to invest Rs.15,000 crore to achieve its power generation targets. It is currently building infrastructure on the upcoming projects including 120mw Likhu-IV and 50mw Balphi in Nepal, 85 mw UPDC-III in Punjab. Next in the line of capacity augmentation is Reliance Power, which is augmenting the capacity of its Andhra Pradesh power plant at an investment of Rs.10,000 crore. The power project, which is located in Samalkot area of East Godavari district, will get gas-based energy generation capacity of 2,400 mw from the current 220 mw and the plant will get gas supply from the Krishna Godavari D6 block of Reliance Industries Limited.

Upcoming Projects

Pronouncing its aggressive forays into the Indian power sector, the Hinduja Group has recently announced $10 billion investment to generate 10,000mw of energy in the next half decade. Currently, the company is identifying plant sites in various states including Maharashtra where it plans to set up two power plants very shortly. Another major entry into the Indian energy generation sector has been announced by the Reliance Industries of Mukesh Ambani Group and it has chalked out plans to bid for UMPPs in Chhatisgarh and Orissa with a projected investment worth Rs.32,000 crore.  In addition, it has also fixed the 2000mw Bhadravati project belonging to the Ispat group in Maharashtra on its radar. Pushing the power sector investment to new high, Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) controlled Reliance Power is setting up a power plant with an annual generation capacity of 8000mw at an investment of Rs.30,000 crore. The company has identified Bharuch and Dahej areas of Gujarat as the ideal locations for the proposed plant. In addition, it is also building a 1,400mw gas-based powered plant in Sambalpur in Orissa, besides 4,000 mw gas plant at Shahpur in Maharashtra. That apart, the company is also said to be acquiring 433 mw of power generation assets from group company, Reliance Infrastructure. The transfer of these assets has been valued at Rs.1,095 crore. The generation capacity comprises 220 mw at Samalkot in Andhra Pradesh where R Power is already getting gas supply from the D 6 gas field for its 165mw plant in Kerala and 48mw in Goa. In totality, the company is currently in the process of implementing power projects with an aggregate capacity in excess of 35,000mw.

Not just this, the Himachal Pradesh government has also given a go ahead signal to the Himachal EMTA Power Limited (HEPL) to set up a thermal power plant with generation capacity of 600mw at an investment of Rs.4000 crore in West Bengal. The Videocon Group is setting up thermal power plants of 6,000 mw generation capacities in various states across the country and has set aside Rs.30,000 crore to boost its energy generation business. The company is building a 1,200mw plant at Pipavav in Gujarat for which it has already acquired land and tied up Rs.6,000 crore funds for investment, besides having ordered equipment worth Rs.3,000 crore for the plant. In addition, the group has drawn up plans to set up power plants of similar power capacity in Chhatisgarh and at Asansol in West Bengal for which it has also acquired land in these areas.

A Giant Leap Generating Power In Plenty
Lanco Infratech Limited has bagged a balance of payment contract (BOP) for three units of 660 mw each from Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) to be set up at Koradi thermal power plant near Nagpur. It is also adding capacity of 1320mw at its existing 1200mw Uduppi power plant in Karnataka. The Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has secured Rs.6,500 crore contract from Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited, a flagship company of the Jaiprakash Group, to set up 1,980mw power plant in Uttar Pradesh. The contract includes the supply, erection and commissioning of a boiler turbine generator package critical piping, electrostat precipitators and power plant automation for plant at Karchana district on the outskirts of Allahabad comprising three units of 660mw each.

Assisting the government to attain its targeted power capacity addition, Alstom has secured couple of contracts from GVK Industries to build units of the new Jegurupadu-III combined cycle power plant in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh involving an investment worth £450 million. The two units, which are to be commissioned from 2013 onwards, will include a combined power output of 800mw and a part of the EPC contract relating to the first unit of the power plant is expected to be finalized very shortly. The JSW Energy, which is an offshoot of JSW Group, has drawn up plans to arrange Rs.8,000 crore to finance its upcoming power projects in states like Chhatisgarh and Himachal Pradesh. The company is setting up 1,320mw coal fired power project in Chhatisgarh and a 240mw hydropower plant in Himachal Pradesh. Indiabulls Power is setting up 1350mw coal fired power plant for Punjab government at Harisinghwala near Mansa area of the state. The Gokul and Solvent Limited, together with the Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Limited (GMDC) are setting up a Rs.460 crore lignite based thermal power station near Tadkeswar in Surat district of Gujarat. Initially, the plant will be built with a power generation capacity of 80 mw but it will have a provision to expand the capacity to 135 mw at later stage. The plant capacity has been divided in parts of 55 mw that would be supplied to GMDC 20 mw and Gokul Group 35mw and the balance 25mw capacity will be available for sale to Gujarat Urja Vikas Limited and other parties interested in the purchasing of power.


With the addition of seven new ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) with a generation capacity of 4,000 mw each involving an investment of Rs.20,000 crore, the total number of UMPPs across the country has gone up from nine to sixteen. The civil work on some of the UMPPs is in full swing in areas including Mundra in Gujarat, being built by Tata Power, while Reliance Power is building at Sasan in Madhya Pradesh, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tillayya in Jharkhand. The seven newly cleared UMPPs would come up in states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Orissa and Jharkhand where similar mega projects are currently in various stages of completion. The PEC has extended the deadline for submission of the REQ for projects in Chhattisgarh and Orissa. All the UMPPs would follow a competitive tariff based bidding process in which a SPV is to be set up to reduce risk perceptions and increase investors, confidence and as per reports the SPVs for all these new UMPPs have been put in place and PEC expects several power generating giants, including multinationals to bid for the upcoming UMPPs.

The Union Power Ministry is all set to award 12 ultra mega power plants (UMPPs) involving an investment of Rs.192,000 crore across the country. The UMPPs, which are in the pipeline include two in Tamil Nadu, two more in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, another in Gujarat and one each in Maharashtra and Karnataka and bids for two UMPPs one each in Orissa and Chhatisgarh have already been floated.

Green Energy

A Giant Leap Generating Power In Plenty
Achieving the green energy generation targets laid down under the National Solar Mission, the new and renewable ministry has floated special incentive package Scheme (SIPS) to attract investments in semiconductor fabs, eco-friendly units, and solar PV projects. The incentive scheme drew overwhelming response and to date it has recorded 26 proposals with a staggering investment offer worth Rs.2,29,000 crore. Not just this, the clean energy fund, which is being imposed at the rate of Rs.50 a ton as cess on the coal utilized, is estimated to bring more than Rs.67,000 crore in the immediate future. The government has launched a National Solar Mission aiming at feeding 20,000 mw to the national grid by 2022. Shortly after the announcement of the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission, at least two dozen companies including those in the public sector and Silver Smit India have announced investment proposals worth Rs.100,000 crore in the next three to ten years. As a part of its strategic diversification, the company is entering into the wind, power, solar and thermal power generation areas. It has already made its presence felt in wind energy generation by commissioning a 21 mw wind power project in Kutch district of Gujarat and has launched solar lanterns in Orissa, Karnataka and North Eastern states.

Enthused by the government’s initiatives, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has launched Rs.700cr green energy plans that include the setting up solar energy panels across its over 18,100 retails outlets across the country at an investment of Rs.500 crore. In addition, the company will also set up wind and solar energy generation plants at multiple locations involving an investment of Rs.200 crore. The oil giant, which has already commissioned two pilot solar charging stations in Uttar Pradesh and Orissa, will first launch the project on pilot basis and subsequently expand it towards the end of the 11th Five Year Plan.

A Giant Leap Generating Power In Plenty
Following close behind is Suzlon Energy and Capro Group forging a mega joint venture to set up 3,000mw capacity wind power farms involving an investment of about $3 billion. The wind power plants are meant to be developed for Caparo Energy, which is a London based Lord Swaraj Paul Group’s joint venture with Finland’s Wartsila and most of the plants are likely to be executed in India. Similarly, the Moser Baer has drawn up plans to invest Rs.400 crore in the expansion of crystalline silicon capacity of its photo voltaic (PV) to 240 mw from the current 14mw. In a recent achievement, it has commissioned its largest thin film solar farm with an installed capacity of 1mw at Chandrapur in Maharashtra for the state government owned Mahagenco. The Adani Power in a recent move has decided to invest nearly Rs.500 crore on a 40 mw solar power project in Banaskantha district of northern areas of Gujarat. Apart from this, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) of Lanco Infratech Limited, Lanco Solar, has drawn up plans to set up a polysilicon and solar water manufacturing base at Randaspur village in the premises of its notified special economic zone (SEZ) in Cuttack district of Orissa.

Likewise, the power equipment manufacturing giant, the BHEL along with 16 other power players including Titan Energy have signed an agreement with the AP ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) through the Non-conventional Energy Development Corporation (NEDCAP) to set up 20mw of solar photo voltaic units of Rs.340 crore under the phase one of the National Solar Mission envisaging to award about 100 mw of capacity to the government and private companies in the power sector.

About 4.25 mw of generation capacity has been given to solar panel manufacturers and another 4.2 to others including 1 mw each to BHEL, Hyderabad Metro Water Works, AP Genco and APIIC, while 200kw has been awarded to MCR HRD Institute. Similarlym under the private sector 1mw each has been given to Titan Energy Systems and Premier Solar and Solar Semiconductor and Andromeda of 750kw each have already been allotted for execution. In totality of the 20 mw allocation of the state government 11.8mw has been given to private players. The Mahindra & Mahindra, a diversified company has initiated the process of installing a 50 mw solar power generation capacity plants in five states entailing an investment of Rs.750 crore. Apart from this, it is also planning to enter into consultancy role in the new and emerging solar power generation sector, offering engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, balance of plant equipment and off grid solar solutions like supplying batteries for the solar power sector.

Nuclear Power

The government has worked out strategies to ramp up nuclear power capacity in the country by ten fold in the next 10 years by approving new reactor capacity to over 38,000mw. The target will be achieved through Imported Light Water Reactor units in the range of 1,000 mw to 1650 mw from Russia, France and the US to attain over 80% of the targeted capacity and indigenous pressurized Heavy Water Reactors of 700mw will take care of the remaining portion of the targeted energy generation. The units are planned to be constructed with a gestation period of about six years from the first pour of concrete to commercial operation. The Indian Oil Corporation, which has also marked its entry into the power sector has set aside Rs.3,600 crore investment for the seventh and eighth units of the Rs.12,000 crore Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) in Rawatbhata area of the state. In this connection, the oil giant has signed an agreement with the Nuclear power Corporation for the construction of the heavy water pressurized water reactor thereby picking up 30% equity in the 1400mw plant. In addition, it has forged partnership with NPCIL’s future projects including the proposed Rs.14,000 crore nuclear power projects at Kakrapar in Gujarat, Rs.18,000 crore power plant at Kundakulam in Tamil Nadu and Rs.28,500 crore project at Jaitpur in Maharashtra and the actual plan is to start work on the first set of twin units by 2012. Similarly, the new nuclear reactors are coming up in areas like Kumaria in Haryana and Bargi in MP with indigenous PHWRs capacities of 4x700 and 2x700 MWe respectively. Likewise LWR Russian VVER and LWR French EPR Koodankulam in TN, Jaipur and Maharashtra are being set up with generation capacities of 4x1,000MWe and 6x1,650MWe. Others include LWR (US GE Hitachi) or Washingtonhouse at Chhayamithi Virdi in Gujarat and Kowada in AP with 5x1,000 capacities each and LWR Russian VVER with a capacity of 6x1,000 at Haripur in West Bengal. The L&T on the other hand has decided to build capabilities for executing nuclear islands, to enhance its strength to build complete nuclear plants on a turnkey basis. Orders from nuclear power projects totaling about Rs.100,000 crore are scheduled over the next half decade because the Centre intends to install 62,000mw of nuclear energy by 2032, of which 25,000mw is expected to be added by 2020, said Chairman and Managing Director A M Naik.

A Giant Leap Generating Power In Plenty


In fact, the government has taken up a daunting task to provide power for all by 2012 and has set a renewed target of achieving capacity addition of 62,374mw in the current Plan period of which 24,367mw has already been added and 40,072mw will be added in the remaining period of the current Plan after which the total installed capacity is likely to touch 1,99,471mw. In addition, power projects to the tune of 12,590mw, which are currently in various stages of implementations, are likely to be commissioned in the beginning of the 12th Plan period. That apart, capacity addition aggregating to 60,600mw, which is being executed currently, will also be added to the capacity during the 12th Five Year Plan. In totality, about 1,00,000 mw capacity addition being targeted for the coming Plan period will enable the country to become self-reliant to meet its power requirements.

NBMCW September 2010

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