PowerGrid to invest Rs 1 Lakh crore in transmission sector

Power Grid Corporation will invest close to Rs 1 lakh crore in transmission sector projects in five years to 2024, which is likely to shoot up if the government approves the electricity storage projects in the coming years, a senior company official said.

Of the total Rs 2,60,000 crore worth of projects likely to be approved under the National Electricity Plan for the sector, including the intra-state transmission projects, power grid would get around Rs 1,00,000 crore worth of projects to implement, IS Jha, chairman of Power Grid, said.

The entire approved cost for the sector would entail setting up of 1,06,000 circuit km of transmission capacity, 2,92,000 MVA of transformation capacity, and 14,000 MW of high voltage direct current bi-pole lines, said Jha.

In the financial year 2016-17, as of January, the company has approved projects worth Rs 34,809 crore. The target for the Jan-Mar quarter is to complete 4,750 km of transmission line, 7 substations and 14,000 MVA of transformation capacity, Jha added.

The company will raise around Rs 2,500 crore by end March to meet its capital expenditure target for the financial year 2016-17 of Rs 22,000 crore.

"We will look at options such as bond placements and banks loans before March 31," said K Sreekant, director finance of Power Grid.

In financial year 2017-18, the planned capex is Rs 23,000 crore.

In the long term, the company may even weigh the option of listing its assets on InvITs to unlock the value of its high gestation assets.

Power Grid is also planning to bid for 7 inter-state transmission projects worth Rs 8,697 crore and 10 intra-state transmission projects worth Rs 5,265 crore under the tariff based competitive bidding.

"In the intra-state projects, we have offered to invest in projects at 7-8% interest rate which would reduce the cost of projects, where the interest rates are around 10 per cent," Jha said.

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