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NTPC looks for a Joint Venture partner for Distribution Foray

The country’s largest power producer, NTPC is floating a joint venture as part of its plan to foray into electricity distribution and its distribution arm, NTPC Electric Supply Co Ltd (NESCL), has invited bids from power distribution licensees with five years of experience. NESCL was incorporated in 2002 and is engaged in providing in-house consultancy services to various state electricity boards (SEBs) in retail distribution.

“NESCL intends to undertake electricity distribution to end consumers, including domestic, commercial, industrial and agriculture units, in some states,” said the company reprsentative. “The distribution business will be undertaken through a new entity, to be owned jointly by NESCL and its partner.” The JV may also bid for distribution licensee contracts of states. NESCL has floated an expression of interest inviting companies with a minimum average net worth of Rs 500 crore in three preceding financial years. The selection of a partner will take about three months, he said. NTPC is mainly engaged in power generation and has an installed capacity of 39,174 MW.

NESCL has a JV with Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation to take up retail power distribution in various industrial parks and SEZs. NTPC had early this year announced plans to lay network for power distribution within 5-10 km radius of all its projects. The government last Monday approved a bailout package for state power distribution companies that have accumulated losses of over Rs 1.9 lakh crore.

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