Three power projects planned with an outlay of Rs.12,800 crore

RPG Group company CESC is planning to raise private equity up to Rs.1,000 crore for the newly floated holding company, Haldia Energy Company, for the three new power projects, CESC Vice-Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said.

Addressing a press conference here after announcing CESC's second quarter results, he said equity worth Rs.3,000 crore would be needed for setting up three units with a total capacity of 2,500 MW at Haldia in West Bengal, Chandrapur in Maharashtra and Talcher in Orissa, entailing an investment of Rs.12,800 crore. Haldia Energy Company has been formed as a special purpose vehicle in which less than 26 per cent equity may be offloaded to private equities.

Mr Goenka said talks were already being held with “quite a few private equities within the country and outside.''

On the 600 MW Haldia project, he said financial closure was expected to be achieved soon with ICICI Bank and IDBI Bank set to share the debt-component of the project. Equity of Rs.900 crore would be required for this project, for which CESC had got 440 acres and the necessary clearances and linkages.

He said that although this was conceived earlier as a merchant power project, with increasing demand (including industrial demand) from the city and its suburbs, which is fed by CESC, it was now thought that at least 400 MW would be met through this load. Power would be available by 2014.

On the retail business, Mr. Goenka said the Spencers' business was getting better and for the first time its signature-store in the city, ‘South City Mall,' had a sales of Rs.7 crore in a single month (October). He said by 2012-13 Spencers, which makes cash-loss now, was expected to get into the profit-mode.

On CESC's second quarter results, he said the post-tax profit increased by 23 per cent with improved earnings.

He said that while CESC's first supercritical generating station at Talcher is awaiting coal linkage, the company was also pursuing hydel project in the northeast and solar projects in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

On the Balagarh project in West Bengal Mr.Goenka said coal linkage had been applied for this 13,000 MW project, which might also come under the special purpose vehicle.