Tata-PGCIL JV gets licence

NEW DELHI NOV. 11. In the first private-public collaboration in power transmission, state-owned Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) and Tata Power have joined hands to set up a 1,200 km power transmission line from Siliguri in West Bengal to Mandola in Uttar Pradesh, entailing an investment of Rs. 1,200 crores.

The licence for the purpose was handed over to R. P. Singh, Chairman of the joint venture company, Power Links Transmission Ltd., by A. K. Basu, Chairman of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. Firdose Vandrevala, Managing Director of Tata Power, was also present on the occasion. Tata Power holds 51 per cent stake in the joint venture company while the PGCIL holds the balance. Power Links is expected to achieve financial closure next month and the project is scheduled to be completed in 36 months, that is by mid-2006.

West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Sikkim in the eastern region and Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi in the northern region would benefit from the project.

Tatas to invest over Rs. 15,000 cr.

The Tatas today announced to double their operations in the power sector in the next five years for establishing brand identity as a reliable supplier of electricity and indicated an investment of over Rs. 15,000 crores for the purpose.

"We want to double our generation capacity and add two million consumers for electricity supply in the next five years,'' Mr. Vandrevala, told reporters after acquiring a licence to set up a transmission project in joint venture with the PGCIL.

Asked if the investment for the purpose could be in the range of Rs. 12,000 crores to Rs. 15,000 crores, he said, "It could be even more. You can make your calculations on the basis of our targets.'' Mr. Vandrevala said Tata Power's expansion as a major branded player in electricity generation, transmission and distribution could be both through "greenfield projects and acquisition.''

As such, the company had acquired two projects totalling 440 MW in hydro and thermal generation sectors and work was going on for completion of the same, he said adding the firm was awaiting response to a proposal for acquisition of land in Delhi for setting up a 1,000 MW thermal power project. Tata Power has a power generation capacity of about 3,000 MW and is planning to add another 2,500 MW in the next five years, Mr. Vandrevala said adding the proposed 1,000 MW power plant around Delhi would be gas-based.

Since Tata Power is one of the distribution companies in Delhi, it is planning to set up generation unit to supply reliable power to its customers like the company has been doing in Mumbai. — PTI