NTPC to enter distribution business, buyouts planned
State-run NTPC said on Monday that it is “actively looking for” opportunities in the business of power distribution, a move that gels with its diversification drive. NTPC’s chairman and managing director Gurdeep Singh unveiled the plan at the company’s annual analysts and investors meet.
“The company is looking for candidate with 25 years of power industry experience and in-depth exposure of distribution business,” a person familiar with the development told FE.
NTPC has already expressed its interest to acquire a majority stake in BSES Yamuna and BSES Rajdhani, the subsidiary discoms of Reliance Infrastructure that supply electricity in south, west, east and central Delhi.
The development comes at a time when the government is planning to privatise the power departments in Union Territories, which it hopes will “provide a model for emulation by other utilities across the country”.
Sources said that efforts would also be made to privatise a number of discoms in major states such as Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam to improve the governance of these state-run entities.
With rising environmental concerns, the largest thermal power producer in the country has decided to diversify its business, including the diversification of its generation portfolio. By 2032, it plans to have a total power production capacity of 1,30,000 MW and 30% of this would be non-thermal energy-based. Of this, renewables would comprise 32,000 MW. Currently, the total installed capacity of the power behemoth stands at 62,910 MW, comprising 1,070 MW of renewable energy-based plants. NTPC has recently issued tenders to acquire 1,000 MW of operational solar plants, which are running for at least a year, and supplies power to their buyers at not more than Rs 5/unit.
The company also told analysts that it is also considering a number of options for its shareholders, including share buybacks.