GMR Energy to have 5,000 MW thermal capacity in 3 yrs’
GMR Energy, owned by India’s GMR Infrastructure, plans to have nearly 5,000 megawatts (MW) of coal-based power operating capacity over the next three years, its chief executive officer told Reuters on Saturday.
GMR Energy currently has three power plants in operation, with a combined capacity of about 820 MW. None of these plants are coal-based.
The company has an “investment commitment” of about 300 billion rupees ($6.2 billion) in the energy sector, Raaj Kumar said in an interview, without giving a timeframe.
“Besides thermal projects, we also have a portfolio of five hydro projects, three in India and two in Nepal. We expect to start construction work on one of these projects this financial year,” Kumar said.
“Hydro capacity will start coming only from year 2016-17 onwards,” he added.
In India, thermal power projects are essentially coal-based, as solar power is yet to pick up in the country.
“Several thermal projects are in construction now, such as 600 MW in Maharashtra, 1400 MW in Orissa and 1370 MW in Chhattisgarh,” he said.
“We will start generating from these projects from year 2012 onwards and we expect to commission the last one, which is the Chhattisgarh project, in 2013-14.”
The company came under criticism in Chhattisgarh last month from the state’s chief minister, Raman Singh, who said GMR Energy had started construction work on the project before it received permission.
GMR Energy did not comment directly but said it had set up temporary sheds for security personnel.
Kumar said GMR’s project in Eastern Orissa state has secured coal supplies and he expect to get coal for the project fully from domestic sources.
“The Maharashtra project is also fully secured by coal linkage and we are expecting coal linkage shortly for Chhattisgarh project as soon as the next coal linkage meeting takes place, Kumar said.
GMR Energy’s parent company GMR Infrastructure has interests in airports, energy and highways. It has built New Delhi’s new terminal and will soon build India’s biggest highway from Kishangarh to Ahmedabad.
GMR Energy in August entered into a pact to acquire a 30 percent stake in Indonesia’s PT Golden Energy Mines Tbk or GEMS, for $450-$550 million in cash, joining the line of Indian firms buying coal assets across the globe to seek
“In case of any shortfall in availability of coal for these projects (domestically), we will surely have fuel security from our coal assets in Indonesia and South Africa, Kumar said.