Companies

CLP India to keep off ‘speculative gamble’ in solar bidding

ksenia kondratieva Mumbai | Updated on August 06, 2018

CLP India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based CLP Holdings and one of the largest players in India’s wind sector, will stay away from aggressive bidding. Instead, it will focus on acquisitions of both greenfield and completed assets, Amarthaluru Subba Rao, Executive Director - Finance and Strategy, CLP India, told BusinessLine in an interview.

The company’s 923 MW wind capacity was set up during “feed-in” regime, before competitive bidding was introduced in the sector, Rao said. “Now we perhaps will prefer the model…where everything is in place and then we would take over (the project), rather than us trying to do bidding,” he added.

The company is likely to stick to the same strategy in the solar sector where the tariffs have touched ₹2.44 per unit again. Bidding at such level is a “speculative gamble”, according to Rao.

CLP’s only solar project so far, of 100MW capacity in Telangana, was acquired from Suzlon at a greenfield stage.

According to Rao, the company’s balance sheet has significant headroom for supporting acquisition of at least for 500 MW through internal approvals.

In the transmission space, however, the company is looking at both bidding for interstate transmission projects and acquiring completed portfolios.

“There are limited projects available because transmission privatisation has not yet gone in a big way,” Rao added.

CLP India has reportedly been among several players looking at Essel Infraprojects’s power transmission business valued at around $1 billion. Earlier, the company was in the fray for Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure’s Mumbai distribution business that was eventually acquired by the Adani Group.

Gas project uncertainty

CLP India is planning to expand operations in the renewable space only. The company continues operating its 1,320 MW thermal project in Jhajjar, Haryana and 665 MW Paguthan combined cycle gas plant in Gujarat acquired from Powergen of UK.

The future of Paguthan project is now uncertain, according to Rao, as the power puchase agreement (PPA) will expire in December 2018. Signing the new PPA at which the plant will be viable would be a challenge given the price of imported gas and unavailability of domestic gas.“If there is a taker (of power) at upwards of ₹7.5 per unit, there is chance that this project will have extended life,” Rao said.

Published on August 06, 2018

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