Hyderabad: Infrastructure firm Nava Bharat Ventures Ltd, or NBVL, which recently won a contract to build the Rs12,200 crore Hyderabad city rail by partnering with Maytas Infra Ltd, now plans overseas power projects.
“We are actively pursuing business opportunities in power generation in international markets, especially in countries of Africa and Southeast Asia,” chief financial officer G.R.K. Prasad said.
The company has placed bids to build a coal-fired power plant called for by the Zambian government and is among the 10 shortlisted entities that include India’s largest zinc and copper producer Vedanta Resources Inc. and South Africa’s Londoloza Resources Ltd, Prasad said.
Zambia wants this 400MW plant, estimated to cost Rs1,600 crore, to supply electricity to its copper mines where production is suffering due to a power shortage, Prasad said. Zambia is Africa’s leading producer of the metal.
The winner of the project would also need to recapitalize the coal mine of state-owned Maamba Colliery, located near Maamba town that has 78.2 million tonnes of coal reserves, the executive said.
“It (Zambia) has good reform credentials, and provides some interesting opportunities for investors; but political continuity after recent changes needs to be seen,” said Kameswara Rao, who tracks energy at consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Rao said privatization in mining industry involves diverse challenges and the colliery put up for tender is Zambia’s largest coal producer.
“From what we know, it needs infusion of technology and investment, and the mine output will have to be increased three times to feed the power plant,” he said.
Besides infrastructure and power, NBVL has interests in ferro alloys and sugar, and is scouting for overseas coal and manganese ore mines.
“The decision on long-term supply arrangements or joint ventures will depend on the availability of (foreign) coal and manganese ore reserves,” Prasad said. “We expect to firm up deals in 4-5 months, which will require investments of around Rs400 crore.”
NBVL reported gross revenues of Rs1,116 crore and net profit of Rs315 crore for the year to March. NBVL’s stock closed at Rs247.70 on Tuesday, losing 0.94% on the Bombay Stock Exchange, whose benchmark Sensex index lost 0.30%.