India Power completes acquisition of Nellore power plant

India Power bought the plant from Engie Group for $1


India Power chairman Hemant Kanoria. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint
India Power chairman Hemant Kanoria. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

India Power Corp. Ltd, a Srei Group company, on Wednesday said it has concluded the purchase of Meenakshi Energy Pvt. Ltd, a 1,000 (megawatt) MW power plant at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.

The company bought the plant from Engie Group of France for $1. The deal was agreed upon in late February, said India Power chairman Hemant Kanoria. The Srei Group, which is invested in the infrastructure finance business, took over the erstwhile DPSC Ltd from state-owned Andrew Yule and Co. Ltd and renamed it India Power, following a merger with a group firm. It has revamped the company’s generation capacity and is now expanding the business by acquiring new plants.

The company has already commissioned 300 MW of generation capacity at Nellore and the remaining 700 MW will be ready by the middle of next year, Kanoria said. The Engie Group was struggling to run the plant and also wanted to reduce its carbon footprint, according to Kanoria.

Meenakshi Power has a consolidated debt of Rs2,800 crore, of which the company still has around Rs1,600 crore in its treasury. It will spend around Rs600 crore to commission the remaining 700 MW of generation capacity and still have around Rs1,000 crore left to meet working capital needs, Kanoria said.

The plant at Nellore is to run on coal imported from Indonesia. India Power is looking to acquire more stressed assets like Meenakshi Power and a team headed by Kanoria’s son Raghav Raj Kanoria, a director, is examining proposals from lenders.

India Power is set to commission the first unit of its 450 MW power plant in Haldia in West Bengal. The plant will start generating 150 MW from the end of December, the chairman said. This unit too will be run on imported coal.

Both the plants will be managed by India Power’s 50:50 joint venture with Germany’s Uniper Kraftwerke GmbH, which was launched two months ago. The joint venture will provide the technology for improving operational efficiency at Indian thermal power plants. India Power is also looking to expand its distribution business and has applied for new licences in West Bengal’s East Midnapore district and Gurgaon in Haryana, Kanoria said. It currently supplies power in some parts of West Bengal and Bihar.

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