New Delhi: The ministries of finance and power are discussing a plan to sell the centre’s stake in hydropower producer NHPC Ltd to state-run peer NTPC Ltd, the nation’s biggest electricity generator by capacity, according to people familiar with the matter.

The government’s 73.67% stake in NHPC is worth about 18,200 crore as per current prices, according to Bloomberg calculations. Talks are at an initial stage and a deal is unlikely to be concluded this fiscal, although the government plans to complete some formalities before March, the people said.

The discussions point to the government’s plans to consolidate state-run energy firms to give them global size and scale, apart from helping it to boost revenue collections and stick to its budget gap target. The sale, if approved, will be the second such consolidation after state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd acquired the government’s stake in oil refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd for 36,900 crore.

The sale will boost NTPC’s green portfolio as it makes a gradual shift away from fossil fuels. NTPC last year sought to acquire the centre’s stake in hydropower firm SJVN Ltd, but it hasn’t been able to forge a deal yet.

Press officials at the power ministry, NTPC and NHPC didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comments, while two calls to finance ministry spokesman D.S. Malik went unanswered.

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