CESC is scouting for coal properties for possible acquisition, Vice-Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said. “We are scouting for opportunities internationally,” he told reporters after the company’s annual meeting here on Friday. Problems with coal availability had made the company go in for renewable sources, he said.

In addition to the 146 MW hydel capacity that the company recently acquired from IndiaBulls in Arunachal Pradesh, the company was scouting for capacities of around 60 MW, he said. A 9 MW solar power project was commissioned in Gujarat in March, and another 10 MW unit was on the anvil in Rajashtan. The state’s Jaisalmer district would also see a 50 MW wind power project soon. He said the company’s projects under implementation — at Chandrapura in Maharashstra and Haldia in West Bengal — were progressing, but new projects in West Bengal and Odisha were being held up in the absence of coal linkage. CESC is readying itself to augment its 1,225 MW capacity by 7,000 MW by 2022.

A Rs.1,500-crore project is under implementation with an eye to spruce up CESC’s distribution system in view of the emerging demand.

The group’s retail arm, Spencer, which now operates under CESC, was performing well, he said and added that expansion was under way to take its area to 9.74 lak sq. ft. from 2.21 lakh sq. ft. The locations would be mostly Tier-II and Tier-III towns, besides some metros. The company also finalised its first quarter results on Friday which showed a PAT of Rs.125 crore against Rs.111 crore on net sales of Rs.1,404 crore which reflected a 9.5 per cent rise over 2011. CESC had ended 2011-12 with net sales of Rs.4,605 crore and a net profit of Rs.554 crore.

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