In a bid to establish a presence in the country’s north-east and boost its hydroelectric portfolio, India’s largest power generation company NTPC Ltd may align with public sector undertaking North Eastern Electric Power Corp. Ltd (Neepco) to develop the latter’s 1,500MW Tipaimukh project in Manipur.
Powering ahead: NTPC’s Rihand project. India’s largest power generator plans to increase its capacity to 50,000MW by 2012. Of the 22,596MW it plans to add, 2,806MW is expected to be from hydropower
While NTPC executives confirmed the development, Neepco officials could not be contacted. Neepco has an installed capacity of 1,130MW and has 26 units under its operation, and meets around 60% of the energy needs of the north-eastern states.
“NTPC wants a presence in the north-east. Neepco’s track record in project implementation has not been great. On the other hand, though NTPC’s experience in the hydro sector has not been very encouraging, it has a very good project implementation record. It is a win-win situation for both,” said Anish De, chief executive officer at Mercados Asia, an energy consulting firm.
The Tipaimukh project requires an investment of around Rs7,500 crore. It will be located 500m downstream of the confluence of the rivers Tuivai and Barak, near the Manipur-Mizoram border.
Apart from the north-east, NTPC—which has bet big on hydroelectric power generation to become an integrated energy utility with a diversified fuel mix—may also bid for power projects in Nepal.
NTPC has a power generation capacity of 29,144MW, which it plans to increase to 50,000MW by 2012. Of the 22,596MW it plans to add, 2,806MW is expected to be from hydropower.
The company registered a net profit of Rs7,129.3 crore on revenues of Rs37,004.6 crore in 2007-08.
NTPC recently suffered a setback in its plans to gain a foothold in the north-east after the Arunachal Pradesh government cancelled its contract to build two hydroelectric power projects in the state at an estimated cost of Rs22,500 crore, as Mint reported on 13 May.
The company had signed an agreement on 21 September 2006 with the Arunachal government to implement these two projects. Other state-owned firms that won similar projects from Arunachal Pradesh at the same time were NHPC Ltd (4,500MW) and Neepco (1,230 MW).
The state cancelled the contract after NTPC refused to pay an advance of Rs5 lakh per MW as upfront payment for the two projects, as reported by Mint on 19 February. While NHPC paid up, NTPC declined, citing Central Vigilance Commission guidelines.