Monthly Archives: October 2010

Kalpataru bags 2 orders of Rs 384 crore

Mumbai, Oct 27 : Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd, a leading global Engineering, Procurement, Contruction (EPC) player in power Transmission and Distribution sector, has secured two orders about worth Rs 384 crore from PMC Projects (India) Pvt Ltd and National Grid Corporation of Philippines.

The company has recieved order worth Rs 286 crore for supply and construction of 466 Kms, 765 KV S/C Akola, Aurangabad Transmission Line for PMC Projects (India) Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between Maharashtra State Transmission Company Limited and Adani Power Limited, an official release stated here today.

The project will be completed in 14 to 16 months.

The other order, worth around Rs 98 crore, secured by KPTL is from Philippines for supply and construction of 108 Kms, 230 KV double circuit, Kirahon-Maramag Transmission line for National Grid Corporation of Philippines. The completion period for this order is 14 months.

Commenting on the order, Mr Manish Mohnot, Executive Director said ”We are pleased to secure orders from our existing relationship with these clients. KPTL, riding on strong execution capabilities and bandwidth of skilled manpower, has been consistently bagging orders from domestic as well as overseas market. The Company has created a strong presence in the industry through its share of domestic and overseas projects.”

NLC permanent staffs serve strike notice for contract workers

Chennai : The Public Sector Company Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), catering to the power needs of the southern states, is in trouble as a section of permanent employees served strike notice in support of the striking contract workers.

As the strike by the about 13,000 contract workers entered the 36th day today, permanent employees, owing allegience to the Pattali Thozhil Sangam (PTS) and nine other unions, threatened to go on strike.

PTS general secretary V Thilagar met NLC Assistant General Manager Periasamy this evening and served the strike notice, stating the employees would launch the strike, if the Management did not meet their demands within 13 days.

The PTS and nine other unions, including AIADMK, CITU, AITUC and HMS, demanded that the Management concede the demands of the striking contract workers, provide jobs on compassionate ground and give the long pending promotions.

In all, there were about 19,000 permanent employees, including 4,000 executives and engineers and the PTS had nine other unions, representing nearly half of them.

The NLC had only two recognised unions, the PTS and the Labour Progressive Front (LPF), affiliated to the DMK.
The LPF is not a party to the strike notice as it had already pulled out from the strike launched by the contract workers.

Source – UNI

GE lands $750 mn gas turbine order from R-Power

General Electric Co said on Monday it won a $750 million contract to supply gas-fired electric turbines to India’s Reliance Power (R-Power).

The turbines will be part of a 2,400-megawatt (Mw) expansion of an existing power plant in the Samalkot region of India. R-Power is expanding the plant to take advantage of a large recent natural gas find in India’s Krishan Godavari basin.

GE expects to ship the turbines in the second half of 2011 to meet R-Power’s deadline of beginning operations at the expanded plant by March 2012, said Paul Browning, a GE vice president.

GE expects demand for electricity, and thus turbines, to rise in India as the fast-growing economy exploits the new gas find, Browning said.

“The fundamental thing that drives the need for more energy is GDP growth, and certainly India has had no shortage of GDP growth over the past decade or more. What they have been short on was gas. What has been the game-changer on this has been the big gas finds,” Browning said. “We are expecting that there is going to be more opportunity.”

GE, the world’s largest maker of electric turbines, said it will supply six gas turbines to the project. The $750 million contract value includes a 15-year service contract, GE said.

Separately, GE said its Energy Financial Services arm will begin writing loans for development drilling in the oil and gas sector.

Chief Executive Jeff Immelt is in the midst of streamlining GE to focus back on its industrial roots. In addition to selling a majority stake in the company’s NBC Universal media business to Comcast Corp and cutting back its GE Capital Finance arm, Immelt has been expanding GE’s reach in the energy industry.

As part of that effort, GE early in the month agreed to pay $3 billion to buy Dresser Inc, a maker of engines used in oil and gas production.

Source – Business Standard

Japan, India to sign trade, investment deal

TOKYO: The leaders of Japan and India were set to sign a broad economic partnership agreement on Monday, seeking to slash import taxes on a range of goods from auto parts to bonsai plants and boost investment between the two major Asian economies.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh , during his three-day visit to Japan, is also pushing for a civil nuclear energy deal with Japan, which has created a dilemma for Tokyo because of India’s past atomic tests.

The two countries began talks on the matter in June, but the subject is delicate because of India’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Anti-nuclear sentiment runs high in Japan, the only nation to suffer atomic bomb attacks.

Singh called a civil nuclear pact, which would enable Japanese companies to export nuclear power generation technology and related equipment to India, a “win-win proposition” for both sides, according to Kyodo News agency.

After Singh meets with Prime Minister Naoto Kan, they will sign papers showing that negotiations have finished for the comprehensive economic partnership agreement, said Shu Nakagawa, an official in the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Southeast Asia economic partnership agreement division.

The EPA is broader than a free trade agreement because it includes steps to promote greater investment and also addresses on intellectual property rights.

Japan and India had reached a basic EPA deal in September, nearly four years after starting negotiations in early 2007. Under the basic agreement, Tokyo will remove tariffs on 97 percent of Indian imports, with India eliminating tariffs on 90 percent of goods imported from Japan.

Japan will also improve market access on most products in the industrial sector, as well as several agricultural products such as durian, curry, tea leaves, lumber, shrimp and shrimp products.

India will improve Japan’s market access in auto parts, steel panels, and other industrial materials, as well as DVD players, video cameras and industrial machinery. The country will also allow greater access to miniature “bonsai” trees, as well as Japanese yam, peach, strawberries and persimmons.

Two-way trade between the countries was 635 billion yen ($7.7 billion) for the first six months of this year, with Japan running a surplus of 125 billion yen ($1.5 billion).

To take effect, the deal needs ratification by Japan’s parliament, which could take place by the middle of next year.

Separately, the two leaders are also set to issue a joint statement confirming their strategic cooperation in economy, defense and cultural exchanges under “the Japan-India strategic global partnership plan” over the next decade, the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement.

The strategic partnership plan covers a wide range of fresh and continuing projects, including the EPA and steps to relax visa requirements and promote business, tourism and educational exchanges between the two countries.

With its economy stagnating, Japan has been negotiating a framework for the peaceful transfer of nuclear power technologies to energy hungry nations, but India’s situation has made the issue a sensitive one.

Source – Economic Times

Sterlite to invest Rs 3,000 cr more on Punjab power project

Vedanta Group firm Sterlite Energy has revised the outlay for its proposed power project in Punjab upwards by over Rs 3,000 crore, taking the total investment commitment to around Rs 13,000 crore.

The diversified metal group will now invest over Rs 13,000 crore on the Talwandi Sabo project in the state, making the new 2,640-Mw project the single largest investment by Vedanta in the domestic power sector.

“The Punjab government had recently given the nod to Sterlite Energy to add one more unit of 660 Mw to the upcoming thermal project at Talwandi Sabo, in Mansa district. Earlier this month, an MoU to this effect was also signed,” a person in-the-know of the development told PTI.

Diversified metal conglomerate Vedanta Group, as part of its multi-billion dollar plans in the power space, had bagged the rights to develop a 1,980 (3×660) Mw commercial project in the state in 2008 at an estimated investment of Rs 10,000 crore.

With the Punjab government recently according clearance for the additional unit, Sterlite Energy will enhance the total generation capacity of the project to 2,640 Mw through an additional expenditure of over Rs 3,000 crore, the official said.

Sterlite Energy (SEL), which has plans to hit the capital market soon to part-fund its expansion plans, is targetting the last quarter of 2012-13 for operationalisation of the first 660-Mw unit of the plant.

“Overall, the group targets to commission the mega power project by 2014-15. Vedanta, as well as the Punjab government, is betting big on the project. Moreover, the state government is aggressively pursuing plans to bridge the power shortfall in the state,” the official added. At present, the project employs about 3,000 workers.

As the Indian government tightens environmental norms, many companies, especially from the metal sector, like JSW Group, Jindal Power and Sterlite, are migrating to supercritical technologies, which are more efficient and less polluting.

“The Talwandi Sabo project has got coal linkages from Coal India’s subsidiaries — Mahanadi Coal and the South Eastern Coal Limited coal fields.

“Once the plant becomes fully operational, the per day coal requirement would be about 30,000 tonnes. It is slated to be one of the most environment-friendly project in the state as well as the country,” the official said.

Led by UK-based billionaire Anil Agarwal, Vedanta Group has set a target to produce 10,000 Mw of power — captive as well as merchant in the next one decade. The group has outlined a staggering investment of over Rs 50,000 crore for power sector.

As part of its plans in the power space, it recently commissioned the first 600-Mw unit under a separate 2,400-Mw power project in Jharsuguda, Orissa.

Source – Business Standard

Palatana to start power generation in Dec 2011

Agartala, Oct 24 : The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has assured to start 363 MW power generation in Tripura by next year from its 726 MW gas based power project at Palatana, officials said here today.

Talking to mediapersons, ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) Managing Director SK Dube said all the heavy machinery would be transported via Ashuganj sea port from Kolkata by waterways while the other machineries would be coming by road.

The OTPC officials held a meeting with Power Minister Manik Dey yesterday and assured that the generation from first unit of the Gas Based Power Project at Palatana in South Tripura would begin from December 2011 while the second unit would be started by December 2012.

”The project got delayed because of transportation bottlenecks, as the heavy machinery was not allowed to be brought through surface transport. Recently, both the Indian and Bangladesh governments agreed to improve the 13 km stretch of road from Akhaura check-post inside Bangladesh and as a result, there will be no problem in carrying the machinery from Ashuganj port to the project site,” Mr Dube stated.

The 726.6 MW gas based Palatana Power project and 100 MW Monarchak, which were scheduled to start functioning from December 2011 and 2012 respectively, would able to manage power shortage in the state as well as increase revenue in the power sector.

The Palatana project would jointly be implemented by the ONGC, Tripura government and IL and FS to mobilise the natural gas for power generation. In this project, the ONGC had 50 per cent stake, IL and FS 26 per cent and Tripura government 0.5 per cent. The rest 23.5 per cent stake will be picked up by suitable investors.

Palatana and Monarchak Power Projects were unveiled on October 29, 2005, and March 1, 2002, respectively and the ONGC had agreed to supply gas to Monarchak, besides its own project in Palatana.

FinMin opposes import duty on power equipment

The Finance Ministry is believed to have disfavoured the imposition of import duty on power equipment for ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) for now — a move that could benefit private players that are looking to source equipment from abroad.

Sources said the Finance Ministry has decided against the imposition of import duty after consultations with the Power Ministry and public sector equipment major BHEL, besides representations made by private sector players through the Association of Power Producers.

The Ministry of Finance has accordingly communicated its stance to the Power Ministry, the sources said.

The Finance Ministry is of the view that any changes in the duty regime should only take place in the 12th Plan Period (2012-17) after reviewing the progress of capacity addition projects in the power sector and domestic manufacturing capabilities.

This would mean that power companies will continue to enjoy duty exemption on the import of power equipment for UMPPs till the end of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007-12) on March 31, 2012.

Under the Mega Power Policy, imports of equipment for thermal projects with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (Mw) and above and hydel plants of more than 500 Mw are exempted from excise and customs duty.

Earlier, the Ministry of Power had proposed imposing a 10 per cent import duty on power equipment, besides a 5 per cent countervailing duty and a 4 per cent special additional duty.

Domestic equipment makers like BHEL and L&T are said to have favoured the imposition of duty on power equipment imports to create a level-playing field for homegrown companies in the backdrop of cheaper imports from other countries.

However, private power suppliers like Reliance Power and Tata Power have opposed the duty, as they aim to import equipment for their respective UMPPs from countries like China.

Anil Ambani group to invest Rs 75,000 cr in M.P

The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group will invest Rs 75,000 crore in core power, mining and cement projects in the next five years in Madhya Pradesh.

Mr Anil Ambani, Chairman, Reliance ADA Group, announced his company’s plans to increase the capacity of the two power projects at Sasan and Chitrangi, taking the total combined capacity of the two projects to 12,000 MW, and set up a cement plant with a capacity of 10 million tonnes per annum. He made the announcement at the Global Investors Summit-II here.

“Earlier, we were investing Rs 50,000 crore in the State, but now we plan to invest Rs 75,000 crore in the next five years. This would mean Rs 15,000 crore a year, and Rs 60 crore a day,” he said.

“We will be setting up 10 million tonne a year cement plant in the State, which would be enhanced to 20 MTPA,” he said, adding “the cement plant will be utilising the fly ash and lime in the area.

“We are developing the country’s largest private sector coal mines in the State with a production capacity of 25 million tonnes per annum of coal.”

Mr Ambani sought infrastructure development, mainly for logistics, and cautioned that measures should be taken to protect the environment.

The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mr Shivraj Singh Chouhan, said, “Land will be made available for air strips, but the industry also has to ensure that they follow the time line (commitments made for implementing the projects) and that employment is generated in the State.” The Chitrangi Power Project is being implemented by the Chitrangi Power Private Ltd (previously M.P. Power Generation Private Limited), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Power. It is set to develop a coal-based power project at Chitrangi Tehsil, Singrauli District, Madhya Pradesh.

In September 2007, Reliance Power signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Madhya Pradesh for the project. The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group has obtained permission from the Central Government to use the incremental coal from the captive coal blocks allocated for Sasan UMPP.

The project is being planned to attain a final capacity of 5,940 MW.

The environmental clearance for the project was accorded by the Environment Ministry on May 28, 2010. At the two-day global summit, the State Government signed 107 MoUs worth Rs 2,35,736 crore.

NTPC scouts globe for reactor suppliers for independent nuke power foray

NTPC Ltd is scouting for tie-ups with global reactor manufacturers for setting up nuclear power projects on its own.

The thermal power major, which already has a minority stake in a partnership with its state-owned counterpart Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) for setting up nuclear units, also plans to firm up independent collaborations with global reactor vendors to set up imported Light Water Reactor-based atomic projects.

NTPC’s 49:51 joint venture with NPCIL is slated to commence operations with a 700-MWe indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor-based project.

“The Indo-US (nuclear) deal has opened up opportunities… We will enter the nuclear business with the NPCIL joint venture. But in the light of the opportunities, we would want to go on our own and will scout for tie-ups with global reactor firms,” NTPC’s Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Arup Roy Choudhury, said.

India has broadly shortlisted four reactor technologies for future Light Water Reactor-based projects — Westinghouse Electric Company’s AP1000 series of reactors, GE-Hitachi’s ESBWR reactor series, Areva 1,650 MWe European Pressurised Reactors and the Russian state-owned firm Atomstroyexport’s VVER reactor series.

The Atomic Energy Act, 1962 “requires nuclear power generation to be done by a government company in which at least 51 per cent of shares are held by the Central Government.”

A state-owned utility such as NTPC, where the Centre has an 84.5 per cent stake, automatically qualifies to set up nuclear projects on its own. The company hopes to draw from its initial exposure to the sector through its joint venture with NPCIL.

NTPC had earlier this year signed the pact with NPCIL for incorporating a joint venture company for setting up nuclear projects. The venture is likely to take up a 700-MWe indigenous reactor-based project shortly.

Currently, NPCIL and its sister firm BHAVINI are the two companies that are in the business of setting up nuclear power plants in the country.

There are 19 nuclear power reactors with a capacity of 4,560 MWe in operation in the country at present. India has drawn up an ambitious plan to have an installed nuclear capacity of 63,000 MWe in 2032, of which about 40,000 MW will be generated through Light Water Reactors sourced through international cooperation.

India to supply power to Bangladesh from 2012

New Delhi, Oct 23 (PTI) Commerce Minister Anand Sharma today said India would start supplying electricity to the neighbouring country Bangladesh from 2012. India has agreed to supply 250 MW electricity from its grid to the power-starved nation. “There has been an agreement reached on bulk power transmission between the two countries, which were signed in July. We hope that the transmission of power as agreed earlier will commence from 2012,” Sharma said after a meeting his Bangladeshi counterpart Muhammad Faruk Khan. Only around 40 per cent of the Bangladeshi population currently has access to electricity while the country now witnesses a deficit of 1,000 to 1,500 mw power with 41 public and private sector plants with de-rated capacity of 5,198 mw.

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