|NTPC CMD Choudhury|
PSU power major NTPC is set to buy two power projects in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand in the next two months.
"Two power plants have been identified for acquisition - one each in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. The state government power plants would be acquired in April-May after completing the necessary formalities," NTPC chairman Arup Roy Choudhury was quoted as telling a daily.
NTPA plans to buy the 770-megawatt...(MW) Patratu thermal power station in Ramgarh district in Jharkhand from the Jharkhand State Electricity Board, and the 1,330MW Satpura power station in Betul district, owned by Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company.
The two plants are likely to cost around Rs 2,000 crore.
NTPC, which has cash reserves of around Rs 16,867 crore, has set aside Rs 10,000 crore for buyouts.
"Banks have come to us with proposals to take over projects," the CMD had earlier said.
Settin a trend a few private sector projects, which have become non-performing assets (NPAs), have been offered to NTPC for a takeover.
The PSU, however, is taking its time to arrive at a final decision because it has to take many factors into consideration such as compatibility of machinery.
Slow down of economy, high borrowing costs and the delay in securing regulatory approvals have hit many infrastructure projects in the country, including power plants, hurting the ability of their promoters to repay creditors and vendors.
Choudhury said NTPC was interested in acquiring those "super-critical power assets with a capacity of over 500MW. We are looking at assets, which have fuel linkages and have all approvals in place".
"We are open to acquiring a distressed project if the valuations look good and we are allowed to examine the equipment of the plant. If a project has used Bharat Heavy Electricals' power equipment then we will go ahead. But for Chinese equipment projects, we will be very cautious and we will examine it very closely."
NTPC had received 34 proposals amounting to 55,000MW in response to the expression of interest (EoI) floated early last year to acquire generation capacity from other power producers.
It has also received around 12 proposals in response to a second EoI floated in December.
NTPC is the largest power utility in India with an installed power capacity of 43,143 MW and an additional 23839 MW capacity under construction. To realize the vision of becoming a world class power major, NTPC plans to become a 1,28,000 MW company by 2032. NTPC plans to add 14,038 MW during the 12th Plan period (2012-17) and the Maharatna PSU has cash reserves of Rs.16,867.7 crore as on 31 March this year.