State-run Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) today acquired the England-based combined heat and power (CHP) utility Edina for ₹ 493 crore to further its strategy of adopting natural gas-based technologies to halve power cost, for large commercial establishments.

The acquisition, a first-of-its-kind venture by an entity under the Union power ministry, is carried out through EESL’s British subsidiary EnergyPro Assets.

“We have been exploring opportunities to include gas engines to produce cooling, heat and electricity to halve power cost for establishments like hotels, hospitals and malls. This Rs 493- crore acquisition is a step in that direction,” EESL managing director Saurabh Kumar told PTI here.

The combined heat and power technology is a tri-generation model most suited for operations where there is a 24-hour requirement of all the three -electricity, hot water and cooling.

“Through this acquisition, EESL intends to bring CHP technology to the country, providing an integrated service offering to industries that would enable them to receive equipment maintenance, electricity, heat and power at no upfront cost for installation,” he said.

Kumar said the technology has a potential of 20,000 MW in the country and in the initial phase the company is targeting 1,000 MW to be achieved in the next couple of years.

“To begin with, we have identified industrial establishments, airports, hospitals, and hotels among others.

Apart from that, we have also signed agreement with Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra for providing these services at their factories and other establishments,” Kumar said.

He further said EESL will invest $600-700 million for this over a period.

Under this deal, Edina has agreed to service Sterling & Wilson India’s subsidiary in Britain to develop short-term operational reserve by supplying gas generating units that will provide 26 MW power.

“England-based servicing opportunities with India- based clients, like Sterling & Wilson, will help EESL in its expansion plans. On the one hand, EESL aims to tap into the Rs 53,782-crore energy efficiency market in Britain, expanding the offering in the energy service contract model for CHP technology,” Kumar said.

Commenting on the deal, Edina joint managing director Tony Fenton said, “we are looking forward to this new chapter in our growth story, of replicating our success in new markets while leveraging EESL’s experience across the globe.

“The opportunities in a vibrant and dynamic economy like India’s are particularly attractive for us, and we’d like to be able to introduce Indian industry to the benefits of CHP and our unique service offering.”