New Delhi: To refocus on hydropower after recent setbacks, NTPC Ltd may buy state-owned Tungabhadra Steel Products Ltd’s 204 megawatts (MW) hydel power project, chairman and managing director Arup Roy Choudhury said.
Tungabhadra Steel was set up as a joint venture between the state governments of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which later became a central public sector unit in 1967 with the central government acquiring a 50.5% stake in the company, according to the department of public enterprises. The Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE) had recommended that the firm be shut.
“They have a hydropower project of two units of 102MW each. They also have some land. BRPSE has asked us to take a look into it. We are evaluating it,” said Roy Choudhury.
The nation’s largest power producer’s plan to expand its hydropower generation business has faltered with Uttarakhand scrapping the 600MW Loharinag Pala project in August 2010 and Arunachal Pradesh taking away in 2007 the 4,000MW Etalin and 500MW Attunli projects awarded to the utility.
NTPC had entered the hydropower generation business in 2004 to diversify its fuel mix.
The company is building the 800MW Koldam hydropower project in Himachal Pradesh and the 520MW Tapovan Vishnugad project in Uttarakhand.
Experts say developing hydropower plants in India is complicated as it needs involvement and commitment by state governments. India has an installed power generation capacity of 205,340MW, of which around 135,236.43MW is thermal-based and 39,291.4MW is powered by water. NTPC is capable of generating 39,674MW of electricity, which it plans to increase to 75,000MW by 2017 and 128,000MW by 2032.
The state-owned firm posted a net profit of Rs.9,224 crore on revenue of Rs.64,830 crore in the year ended 31 March. It had a cash surplus of Rs.17,000 crore at the end of the fiscal year.
“NTPC’s growth is expected to be driven by the huge capacity addition planned by it. It expects to add 4,170MW capacity in FY2013E and another 2,718MW of capacity in FY2014E. In all, the company targets to add 14,038MW of capacity in the twelfth plan (FY2012-17),” Angel Broking said in a 1 November report. “NTPC enjoys healthy operational efficiency and has consistently reported high PLF (plant load factor) of 90% compared to all-India PLF of 75%.”