Videocon to invest $5b in three power projects

NEW YORK — Videocon Industries Ltd., an Indian consumer-electronics maker and oil explorer, plans to invest $5 billion on building three power plants, Chairman Venugopal Dhoot said yesterday.

By (Bloomberg)

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Published: Thu 27 Dec 2007, 8:30 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:43 PM

“We will increase our investments in setting up power projects as we get more coal linkages and land. India needs electricity and there’s very good scope in power,” Dhoot said in a phone interview in Mumbai. “This is just the beginning.”

The company plans to build 5,000 megawatts of electricity capacity in the states of Gujarat, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. India, which faces a 13 per cent shortage during peak hours, plans to increase capacity to 210,907 megawatts by 2012.

Videocon yesterday called for bids from global engineering companies for two units of 800 megawatts each at Pipavav in the western state of Gujarat. The $1.5-billion power plant will use coal from Indonesia, where the company owns stake in a coalmine, Dhoot said. The company has also acquired land for its power project in the central state of Chhattisgarh.

“We plan to complete both the projects by 2010-11,” Dhoot said. The company has been promised access to coalmines by the government of West Bengal state, he said. The company has formed an energy division to implement the power projects, Dhoot said. It plans to separate its power, oil and gas and mining businesses, Videocon said December 17.

Videocon may consider raising funds for the units by selling shares to private investors or partners, Videocon told the Bombay Stock Exchange.

“With more private sector players committing funds to building power plants, it feels like the mid 1990s when similar investments were being announced,” said Sameer Ranade, an analyst at Pioneer Equities Pvt. in Mumbai. “But the sector is still heavily dependent on government policies so we need to see how much of these investments translates into electricity.”

Videocon is among Indian companies that are selling shares to private investors for infrastructure projects. The consumer durables company that owns 25 per cent in the Ravva oil & gas field off India’s eastern coast, said on December 17 it will separate its oil & power units and sell stake to private investors or partners.

Sterlite Energy Ltd., a unit of Sterlite Industries India Ltd., plans to sell 15 per cent stake to private investors, the Economic Times said reported on December 4.

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