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Friday 30 August 2013

Bengal says no to nuclear energy, yes to solar power

According to reports, the West Bengal government isn't interested in nuclear plants and it is instead all set to introduce rooftop solar power schemes to increase its renewable energy supply, a minister said Friday.
“The state government has opposed to setting up nuclear energy plants. Many other countries, like Germany, are phasing out nuclear plants. Nuclear energy is not risk-free and it has not been opted for by the state government,” said state Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources Minister Manish Gupta.
He was speaking at the ‘Energy Sustainability Conclave 2013 : Energy Security – Empowering the Energy Future’, organised here by the Bengal Chamber.
“We need to make bold moves in renewable energy. We are trying to launch very large solar rooftop schemes in all the cities and going for more regulations to bring a solar power in new buildings, commercial buildings, complexes and industries. In that way we hope that once it catches on we can provide subsidies,” said Gupta.
Downplaying the lag in the growth in renewable energy production in the state as compared to states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, Gupta said “renewable energy is an essential solution but a high cost solution”.
“The share of renewable energy will be four to six percent from the total energy mix in 2020 in India. This is not a very encouraging forecast that has been done by the Planning Commission,” he said.

Sunday 4 August 2013

PowerGrid ups 12th Plan capex by 10-15%; to sell 15% via OFS

According to reports, PowerGrid Corporation has decided to revise upwards its capital expenditure for the 12th Plan period (2012-17) by 10-12 percent to meet expansion plans, a top official said.
“We are constantly expanding our reach and undertaking new projects. We had earlier estimated a capex of Rs 1 trillion during the 12th Plan (2012-17). But with the kind of projects that we are pursuing, we think we will need more funds,” PowerGrid Chairman and Managing Director R N Nayak told reporters here today.
He said the company plans to increase its capex plans by 10-12 percent.
“Earlier, we had planned a capex of Rs 20,000 crore per annum for five years, which would cater to the needs of projects or schemes to the tune of Rs 1 trillion over the five -year period. However, we are anticipating projects to the tune of Rs 1.1 trillion now. To meet the capital expenditure for projects of this volume, we will need more funds.”
Accordingly, it has anticipated a capex of Rs 20,037 crore for FY13, Rs 22,150 crore for FY14, Rs 22,450 crore for FY15, Rs 22,500 crore for FY16 and Rs 22,550 crore in FY17.
“The additional capex will be required for various tariff-based bidding projects that we plan to undertake. Besides, it will be required for undertaking projects assigned by the Government, green energy corridors, intra-state projects and transnational interconnections,” Nayak said.
The PSU will sell 15 percent stake through follow-on public offer (FPO). “This FPO will help us meet additional capex requirement,” its Finance Director R T Agarwal said.
Asked whether the company is looking at raising funds from overseas, Agarwal said, “that is always an option. We will evaluate the opportunities. If we feel the domestic option is cheaper, we will go for it.”
The company’s debt-equity ratio stands at 73:27. “We want to reduce the debt component. This was also one of the reasons for coming out with the FPO,” another official said.
PowerGrid posted nearly 20 percent jump in net profit at Rs 1,040.34 crore in the June quarter.