Mumbai: Central transmission utility Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd (PGCIL) has announced an investment of up to Rs20,000 crore during the 11th Plan period to provide transmission systems to four ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) of 4,000MW each.
This is part of PGCIL’s total investment of Rs55,000 crore for laying new transmission lines for various projects, including four UMPPs and others to be commissioned in the 12th Plan period (2012-17).
“We’ll be spending a total of Rs16,000-20,000 crore to build the transmission system associated with the UMPPs. There will be an investment of Rs8,000-9,000 crore in the 11th Plan and the rest will be spilled over to the 12th Plan,” PGCIL director (projects) S. Majumdar said.
Terming the global economic slowdown a blessing in disguise, Majumdar said, “The economic meltdown has been a boon for us as the government is keen to have more liquidity. It wants us (PGCIL) to utilize these funds quickly. The second benefit is that projects are now getting executed at lesser costs.”
The investment would be funded through a mix of internal accruals and borrowings from multilateral agencies to realize its ambitious plans.
PGCIL expects to receive $1 billion (Rs4,970 crore now) in loan from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank each by June.
“We have already identified and fixed 75% of the funds. The rest will come from market borrowing. We’ll raise money through bonds as and when required,” PGCIL chairman and managing director S.K. Chaturvedi said.
The company targets to add 37,800MW of inter-regional transmission capacity in the 11th Plan. “We have already installed 20,800MW of capacity,” Chaturvedi said.
PGCIL needs to procure towers, conductors, transformers and other equipment for its transmission and distribution operations, and will consider bids from domestic as well as foreign companies.
“We are procuring equipment project-wise. At present, we import insulators from China. We still have to get tranformers. Some Chinese companies have shown interest and they are bidding. Based on the performance guarantee, availability of technology and price, they can supply,” Chaturvedi said.
He said PGCIL had approved investments of Rs20,000 crore in the January-March period, before the model code of conduct for the general election set in.
“The awards have been held up due to the election. We’ll take up the awards issue after 16 May to go through with Rs12,000-15,000 crore investment (for the current fiscal),” Chaturvedi added.