Goenka plans power plant in UP

Calcutta, Feb. 12: Buoyed by the prospect of Noida Power Company Ltd (NPCL) ' its distribution venture ' returning to profit, the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group has approached the Uttar Pradesh government to set up a 600 mega watt power plant in the state.

The Rs 500-crore power distribution company is a joint venture between the RP-Sajiv Goenka Group and the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority, an autonomous body of the UP government responsible for town planning and infrastructure development.

NPCL, which was allowed to raise electricity tariff in October last year, is likely to post a Rs-30-crore profit this fiscal after a decade.

The Rs 8,000-crore group, which earns 60 per cent of its revenues from its power business, including flagship CESC that supplies power to Calcutta, has suggested to the UP government a couple of locations.

"We want to put up a 400 mega watt plant in the first phase and expand thereafter," Sanjiv Goenka, chairman of the group, said.

NPCL distributes power in Greater Noida, which is being developed as an industrial hub, and for urban settlements. It reaches out to a population of about 7 lakh spanning an area of 335 sq. km.

The company started operations in December 1993 under a 30-year licence from the UP government. The RP-Sajiv Goenka Group holds a 73 per cent stake in it.

Goenka is looking at the possibility of building a hydel power plant in Uttarakhand and bringing the power to Greater Noida, which is fast developing now. The distribution area at present has a demand of 200 mega watt. In the absence of a captive power plant, it buys power from other producers.

Goenka said NPCL had entered into an "attractive" power purchase agreement with Essar to buy 135 mega watt from April 14.

If the group manages to build a power plant in UP, NPCL will get access to captive power and post better profitability. The group is also gearing up to take up distribution in Ranchi.

CESC has won distribution rights for 10 years, and the process of handover is likely to be completed in the next two months. Ranchi will initially require 500 mega watt of power.

Profit jump

CESC Ltd reported an over 36 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 101 crore for the third quarter ended December 2012 compared with Rs 74 crore in the same period last year.

"Sales were higher by 5 per cent. Operational efficiency, higher PLF and cost control resulted in a profit rise of 36 per cent," Goenka said.

Spencer's float move

The RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group has appointed KPMG and Ambit Capital to take hypermart Spencer's public. The consultant is likely to submit a report by March-end.

The development comes at a time FDI in multi brand retail has been allowed by the Centre.

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