Companies

Sterlite bets big on ‘risky’ transmission projects

ksenia kondratieva Mumbai | Updated on July 12, 2018 Published on July 12, 2018

Pratik Agarwal, CEO of Sterlite Power Transmission   -  Bloomberg

Sterlite Power is eyeing a sizeable chunk of India’s $25-30 billion power transmission market over the next five years, according to Group CEO Pratik Agarwal.

The company is scouting for challenging projects that make a significant impact, he told BusinessLine.

“Up to 50 per cent of our current portfolio are projects in Kashmir and the North-East, and these are the projects that other (players) will avoid because there are many local issues,” he said. Risky projects provide better returns, he added.

Currently, Sterlite Power has 12 projects across 21 States, of which around 60 per cent is completed.

Considering the pace at which the Centre is adding renewable generation assets, Agarwal expects the transmission sector to see new bids worth around ₹10,000 crore during the current fiscal. Going forward this should increase to at least ₹30,000 crore a year, he said.

Top-down vision

While India has introduced competitive bidding in the transmission sector, which has improved the efficiency of project implementation, India could also have a top-down vision for the transmission space, like it has for the renewable sector, Agarwal said.

“Unfortunately, the vision for transmission doesn’t come from anyone on the top. If you have a top-down vision for generation, you need a top-down vision for transmission,” he observed.

Sterlite Power had entered Brazil in 2017 by winning three projects in two separate auctions. The company bagged another six projects in the latest auction in June, as BusinessLine reported last month.

This takes the committed investments in Brazil to $1.7 billion out of the planned $4 billion, Agarwal said, adding that around 80 per cent of this commitment will come from debt financing.

Published on July 12, 2018
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