Moser Baer Projects will raise Rs 500-700 cr to power up thermal business

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Mr Ratul Puri
Mr Ratul Puri

Moumita Bakshi Chatterjee

New Delhi, Oct. 11

Close on the heels of raising Rs 1,350 crore from Blackstone (at the company level), Moser Baer Projects Pvt Ltd now plans to raise Rs 500-700 crore for one of its downstream companies engaged in the thermal business.

It will soon enter into negotiations with various PE players for raising funds in Moser Baer Power & Infrastructure (MBPIL), which focuses on power sector including power generation, transmission and distribution.

“Before the end of the fiscal, we will look at raising fresh funds from PE players. The next round will be thermal capital raising, for which we plan to raise Rs 500-700 crore. This will go towards the project cost for the thermal venture,” Mr Ratul Puri, Director MBPPL, told Business Line.

Moser Baer Projects Pvt Ltd, in mid-August, had raised Rs 1,350 crore from the Blackstone Group. MBPPL was founded by Mr Deepak Puri and Mr Ratul Puri, the promoters of technology manufacturer and optical storage media company Moser Baer India Ltd. MBPPL plans to commission 5,000 MW by 2016 comprising 4,000 MW of thermal, 500 MW of solar and 500 MW of hydro capacity.

Energy sector

“In the last couple of years, we have made a major play on to the energy sector…We are also drawing up aggressive investment plans over the next three years of Rs 35,000 crore. For this, we will raise external capital, and one round of that has already happened with the Blackstone announcement,” Mr Puri said. Moser Baer will go in for incremental and multiple rounds of capital raising on its energy portfolio “every few months”, he said adding that the fund raising would happen at the level of individual businesses and not at the level of MBPPL.

MBPPL is positioning itself as an integrated power company with a pipeline of thermal, solar and hydroelectric power projects. Moser Baer Clean Energy Ltd will undertake development of solar power projects globally, while Moser Baer Electric Power Ltd is developing projects and technology that deliver clean, renewable energy, harnessing hydropower. The power generation, transmission and distribution business is under Moser Baer Power & Infrastructure Ltd.

Expansion plans

Elaborating on the expansion plans for thermal venture, he said that the company was in advanced stages of development of power plants in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh , and in early stages of development of power plant in Orissa and Jharkhand.

“The advanced stage development is about 4,000 MW, and that of early stage of development is 2,600 MW. Broadly, we have portfolio of 6,600 MW for thermal where advanced stages of development are projects which are either in construction or will go into construction over the next six months. The early stages of development are projects that will take 6-24 months for construction,” he said.

Asked how the funds raised from Blackstone will be utilised, he said, “That is the initial capital available to us now to potentially fund development plans. We have not made any distinction in terms of how much capital we need to allocate to each of the individual holding companies (downstream). That is a call we will be taking in the next six months or so,” Mr Puri said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 12, 2010)
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