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Thursday, Mar 04, 2004

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NPCIL to raise Rs 2,000 cr thru market borrowings

Vinson Kurian

Thiruvananthapuram , March 3

NUCLEAR Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) will continue to raise Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore in market borrowings until the year 2010 when it hopes to do away with the need to depend on budgetary resources for funding its massive development programme.

Mr S.K. Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, told Business Line that the financing needs would be reviewed after reaching `criticality' in this manner. The company will have raised enough surpluses by 2010 to forgo the lifeline from the Government of up to 30 per cent in extant budgetary support.

During the initial years, the company sourced all its finances from the Government; this was scaled down to 50:50 down the line, before being pruned down further to the currently obtaining level of 70:30, with NPCIL being the dominant partner.

The company has repeatedly approached the market for raising most of its finances. This has been done through private placements with financial institutions such as Life Insurance Corporation of India and also leading banks in both the private and public sectors. The company continues to enjoy the `AAA' rating in the market.

NPCIL is now looking at the option of retiring some of the high interest-bearing loans contracted earlier. The necessary paper work is in the advanced stages.

An incremental 1,000 MW is sought to be generated every year post-2010, translating into Rs 5,000 crore in projected investment requirements. The entire funds would be generated from the company's own resources, which now boasts a turnover of Rs 10,000 crore and has got projects worth Rs 35,000 crore in various stages of completion around the country.

"We're now spending Rs 12 crore every day on the nine ongoing projects," Mr Jain said. The company has consistently posted profits "running into four figures" over the past few years.

Replying to a specific question, he said there is no thinking on an initial public offer just yet. "But, one can't say for sure, because we could run into a situation where we might feel the need to dilute the capital base much like what is now happening to some of the Government-run companies. But, that is largely in the realm of hypothesis, viewed from where the position we are in now", he added.

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