NEW DELHI: NLC India Limited (formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation) said on Tuesday that it has shortlisted two stressed power assets — Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC)’s Raghunathpur plant in West Bengal and a GMR power plant in Chhattisgarh —for acquisition. However, NLC is facing hiccups in both cases.
S K Acharya, chairman and managing director of NLC, said the Union coal ministry had given its nod two years ago to go ahead with the DVC deal. However, the West Bengal government is yet to give its consent for the deal. As for GMR acquisition, NLC is working on a new method to place its acquisition bid, Acharya added.
“We are in talks with lenders to pay for the 51 per cent of the debt in cash and 49 per cent in equity where we will pay dividend after gaining the control of the operations,” Acharya said, adding that it won’t be easy to compete against private players who are also eyeing the GMR asset.
Axis Bank, which leads the consortium of lenders, will evaluate bids as per the strategic debt restructuring (SDR) rules. The project will be awarded to the company that bids to absorb the maximum debt. It is reported that Adani Power, Vedanta Group and JSW power are in the race to acquire the 1,370 Mw power plant.
The Chennai-based ‘Navratna’ PSU is also planning to double-lignite mining capacity by 2025 to 62.15 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from its present capacity of 30.60 mtpa. In the renewable energy space, it has set a target to commission 300 Mw by March 2019 and take its capacity to 4.25 Gw by 2025. It has a 1,000 Mw power purchase agreement with the Railways in progress.
Union Coal Minister Piyush Goal said NLC is now not just confined to Southern India but has become a true pan-India corporation. “NLC is setting up a 1,980 Mw power plant in Ghatampur (Uttar Pradesh) to serve the northern region. It is having a footprint in the east if they get a nod for the Raghunathpur plant,” Goyal noted.