Projects Info | 01-07 December, 2008

Energy Info

Photovoltaic facility from BHEL, BEL
Engineering major Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) is betting big on solar energy and, in partnership with defence electronic company Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), is planning to set up an integrated photovoltaic facility entailing an investment of around Rs 6,000 crore. The State-owned firms are likely to rope in a private sector partner for the venture, for which the process has been initiated. "We are tying up with BEL and will scout for a private partner for setting up an integrated facility… It could entail a capex of around Rs 6,000 crore," the Chairman and Managing Director of BHEL, K Ravi Kumar, said. He said the integrated facility would include polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) ingots, conversion into wafer, solar cells and then modules and solar panel systems. A capacity of 200 to 250 mw is being envisaged to achieve economies of scale, Kumar said, adding that the location of the proposed facility was still to be decided. He said that the project would be keen to tap incentives on offer, including the Centre's solar incentive package scheme, as capital costs were high and technology cycles extremely short. An annual production of around 2,500 tonnes of polysilicon, the key raw material used to manufacture solar panels, is being envisaged. Over the past year there had been a huge increase in the prices of polysilicon in the global market. The prices have gone up from $ 25 a kg in 2000 to $ 515 a kg in August 2008. The Centre, under its new scheme to promote semiconductor fabs and other micro and nanotechnology units, has offered incentives of 20 per cent capital expenditure during the first 10 years for the units in SEZs and 25 per cent of the capital expenditure in non-SEZ units. Reliance Industries Ltd, Videocon Industries, Moser Baer PV Technologies, KSK Energy Ventures and Signet Solar are among the private players that have approached the Government with plans to set up units under the scheme.

Green signal to Kakatiya projectThe Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has sanctioned the opening up of Kakatiya Longwall Project of Singareni Colli-eries Company in Andhra Pradesh. After becoming fully operational, the Kakatiya mines are likely to supply 2.747 million tpa of coal to meet the demand of pithead power stations of AP Genco and other units. The CCEA approval provides for a net capital requirement of Rs 453.63 crore and a total capital outlay of Rs 620.03 crore (excluding IDC of Rs 18.90 crore).CCEA also gave its approval for flexibility in the implementation stage within the approved cost estimates to respond to improvements in technology and equipment.

PLG invests in solar projects
PLG Power, a flagship company of PLG Group is investing Rs 500 crore to set-up a solar power project at Sinnar near Nashik to manufacture Solar Photovoltaic Modules. The plant will be inaugurated on December 4, 2008. The project is being set up in technical and turnkey partnership with Boston based Spire Corporation. The power plant involves an installed capacity of 25 mw in Phase I, which will be gradually ramped up to 150 mw by June 2010. The inauguration of the Sinnar Export Oriented Unit will be followed by the laying of a foundation stone for another 100 per cent EOU at SEZ, Indore by PLG Photovoltaic, another group company, on Dec 8. The company is investing Rs.400 crore to manufacture high efficiency solar cells and modules at the site and will use technology from German company Schmidt GmbH.

ONGC to acquire Imperial
ONGC Videsh (OVL) is likely to complete the acquisition of Imperial Energy Corporation ahead of the deadline of June 2009. The Russian government has set no terms for the acquisition. ONGC Videsh (OVL), the overseas investment arm of ONGC, through which the exploration major is routing its bid for Imperial, has fulfilled all pre-conditions for acquisition.

OVL has to make an offer to acquire the shares of Imperial by 9 December 2008. ONGC is lending a substantial portion of funds at 6 per cent interest rate to OVL for the acquisition, the remaining is funded through bridge loan. OVL is already going ahead with the process of making formal open offer and it will not revise its offer price though the crude prices are falling in the recent past. OVL has valued Imperial's 2P (proven and probable) oil and gas reserves at $ 2.4-$ 3 per barrel (approximately Rs 98-147). In August, OVL had made a cash offer to buy Imperial for $ 2.58 billion (approx Rs 12,642 crore).

Maytas power to expand biz
Maytas Infra Power, the power division of Maytas Infra Ltd is expanding its presence in the turnkey solutions business both at the transmission and distribution network for utilities and in offering solutions for power plants. The company's power division now commands an order book of Rs 3,000 crore, up from Rs 1,100 crore in 2007-2008. It includes about 65 per cent from the domestic market and the rest from its overseas business, mainly West Asia, Africa and the Far East. The head of Power Division, Maytas Infra, N Kannan, said Maytas' recent wins include Ind Bharat at Karva, orders from Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka utilities. The company's power division orders cover 33 kV to 400 kV turnkey substations and transmission lines and more specifically, opportunities in rural electrification. Major central schemes are driving the growth of this sector with huge financial commitments, he explained.

Areva for pressurised reactors
French nuclear conglomerate, Areva, is keen to supply European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) to India. Utilities in Finland, China and France are already building these 1,600 mw advance reactors. EPRs are third-generation nuclear fission pressurised water reactor. Mr Patrick Teyssier, Front End Manager, Areva Group, talking to media persons on the sidelines of an India Nuclear Society function, said that the company can offer about six EPRs by 2020, he said. He said that Areva was keenly looking at opportunities in the Indian nuclear sector for which the India office has been recently setup. The company is also talking to private sector companies like Reliance Power and Tata group for equipment supply, Teyssier said. AM Naik, Chairman and Managing Director of L&T Ltd, said that the company was going ahead independently with its Rs 2,000 crore forging venture. The unit will come up in Hazira, Gujarat, in 30 months. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) could become a joint venture partner in the future, he said. The need for a separate unit for nuclear forging was envisaged by NPCIL to address prolonged delays in delivery of jobs by forging companies.


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