BSES exploring avenues in other States

MUMBAI, AUG. 30. BSES is pursuing opportunities in distribution of power in Delhi, Kanpur and Karnataka, according to Mr. R.V. Shahi, Chairman and Managing Director of the company.

Addressing shareholders at the company's annual general meeting here today, Mr. Shahi said, the feedback on the basis of the experience gained in the privatisation initiative in Orissa is disseminated to all the states where privatisation of distribution is being undertaken.

The chairman said it was expected that based on this feedback, these opportunities would be packaged in a manner that they hold potential of commercial viability and make good business service for the investors. The company would focus on city/town based distribution privatisation opportunities.

Further, he said that some states are offering development of hydro-electric projects which power can be sold to other states. Hydro electric power projects provide good options through low generation costs on long term basis as a good opportunity and the company will participate in development of some of these projects.

According to BSES' Business Plan 2012, the company would continue to focus in core areas - generation, transmission and distribution to the extent of 85 to 90 per cent of its resources with the balance resources earmarked for synergetic areas like coal washery and telecom.

It will also develop power projects with an aggregate capacity of 9000 MW, develop three transmission lines and acquire five more distribution networks in the country.

For the first four months of the current year 2001-02 ending July 2001, BSES achieved a plant load factor (PLF) of 86.48 per cent for Dahanu against 83.39 per cent in the same period of the previous year. For the period, the company achieved a turnover of Rs. 916 crores (Rs. 831 crores). It generated 1,266 MUs (1,220 MUs), purchased 1,082 MUs (1,030 MUs) and sold 1,957 MUs (1,872 MUs).

While responding to shareholder's query on standby charges, Mr. Shahi said the issue has been referred to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). MERC after hearing the parties, has appointed a reputed firm of consultants to look into the accounts of Tata Power Company and BSES and after the consultants submit their report, MERC would decide on the matter.

Responding to a query on electricity distribution companies of Orissa, Mr. Shahi said the distribution companies will have initial gestation period of 3-5 years because of the high incidence of distribution losses including theft of electricity. In case of Orissa, because of natural calamities like cyclone, flood and drought, the gestation period would be 5 years. ``There are good signs of improvement and these companies have been able to reduce the losses by about Rs. 100 crores in the last two years,'' said Mr. Shahi. The resolutions passed at the AGM included those on the issue of preference shares upto Rs. 100 crores and raising of funds through issue of securities with various options upto US $ 20 million.