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GMR, Malaysia Airlines arm plan maintenance facility

GMR, Malaysia Airlines arm plan maintenance facility
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First Published: Sat, Feb 28 2009. 12 22 AM IST
Updated: Sat, Feb 28 2009. 12 22 AM IST
Hyderabad: The operator of Hyderabad’s new international airport will build an aircraft maintenance facility in the city in a 50:50 joint venture with a unit of Malaysia Airlines Bhd.
The GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Ltd, signed an agreement to this effect with MAS Aerospace Engineering, a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, to set up an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in the Andhra Pradesh capital.
The first phase of project, involving an investment of about Rs400 crore with a debt to equity ratio of 60:40, will come up in 18 months and will have a capacity to handle 60-80 airplanes a year.
GMR Infrastructure also said the global slowdown has helped it to renegotiate prices of two overseas coal mines it wants to buy. GMR Group chairman Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao said the price renegotiation would save the firm $140 million (about Rs710 crore).
GMR Infrastructure had agreed to acquire 50% in South Africa’s Homeland Mining and Energy for about $150 million and paid $15 million for a 5% holding in April. It recently decided to walk away from the deal.
However, the company on 24 February acquired 33.5% in Canada’s Homeland Energy Group Ltd, the parent firm of Homeland Mining and Energy, for $30 million. Rao claims this reworked deal saved about $100 million for the company, without elaborating.
Raaj Kumar, chief executive of GMR Energy Ltd, a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure, said the steep fall in the market capitalization of the Canadian firm helped the group save substantially.
In the second reworked deal, the company, which had negotiated a price of $120 million to acquire Indonesian coal mines of Barasentosa Lestari PT, renegotiated the deal at $80 million now.
Using the coal available at the South Africa and Indonesia mines, GMR Infrastructure has drawn up a plan to set up coal-based power projects in India’s coastal areas. “We are scouting for suitable locations in states like Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west and Andhra Pradesh on the east coast,” Rao said.
Kumar said the company is in talks with Gujarat and Maharashtra governments. “We have already signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat government for setting up a 2,000MW imported coal-based power project along with a jetty. At an average cost of Rs5 crore per MW, the project is estimated to involve an investment of some Rs10,000 crore,” he said.
Gujarat has offered three locations for the project, Kumar said, and the company hopes to finalize a location soon. It is also identifying a suitable location in Maharashtra, he said.
Rao said the company is currently building three power projects that would have installed capacities of about 800MW. It expects to achieve financial closure for the coal-based 1,050MW power project coming up at Kamalanga, Orissa, by April this year, he said. “Another six projects with some 3,000MW capacity, mostly hydro-based that have long-gestation, are at different stages of implementation.”
On Friday, GMR Holdings Pvt. Ltd, one of the promoter companies of GMR Infrastructure, informed Indian stock exchanges that it has hiked its stake in the listed infrastructure firm to 74.25% by open market purchase of some 700,000 shares during 18-24 February. “We plan to hike our holding to around 75% in the company through the open market purchases as permitted by the regulations,” said Rao.
c.sukumar@livemint.com
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First Published: Sat, Feb 28 2009. 12 22 AM IST