Power Grid plans more state projects, eyes joint ventures

Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd, which lays heavy duty cross-country power lines, is set to invest heavily in local power transmission infrastructure of states, a new front of growth resulting from the government’s ‘power for all’ goal.

Power Grid, which has a joint venture with Bihar State Power Holding Co. Ltd, is currently exploring a joint venture with some other state utilities, Power Grid chairman and managing director I.S. Jha said in an interview. Power Grid will also directly participate in state government auctions of intra-state transmission projects, expanding its portfolio of nearly a dozen such ventures, Jha said.

Power Grid’s aggressive diversification into intra-state projects comes at a time when the central government has approved a scheme to address the gaps in its rural electrification programme and to facilitate last mile electricity connectivity to homes.

On 25 September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Rs16,320 crore Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or Saubhagya, which complements the village electrification programme, the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana, under which 78% of 18,000 identified villages have been electrified since its launch in July 2015.

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