Gujarat meet today on rescue plan for power plants

NEW DELHI: The Gujarat government is scheduled to discuss with lenders on Monday a future course for the Tata and Adani groups’ imported coal-fired power plants that have fallen into dire straits.

Sources said the meeting, scheduled in Gandhinagar, is expected to be attended by top members of the state administration, while the lenders will be represented by State Bank of India brass. It will pick up the threads of last month’s brainstorming session at the Union power ministry on ways to prevent these projects, with a collective capacity of over 8,000 mw, from turning into non-performing assets (NPAs) for lenders.

In an act of desperation, the promoters have offered 51% stake in the project to the state government for Re 1. They took the step after failing to secure adequate tariff to make up for higher fuel cost due to changes in the coal pricing policy of Indonesia, where both have their captive mines.

The power ministry has taken the stand that it was a matter to be decided by the stakeholders, including the state government, but it could do some hand-holding to prevent further power sector NPAs for lenders.

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