Satluj Nigam mulling to buy Jaypee's hydro plant

Shimla, Sep 13 (IANS) Public sector Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (SJVNL), which owns and operates India's largest hydropower project in Himachal Pradesh, is eyeing to buy Jaypee Karcham Hydro Corp. Ltd.'s mega hydropower plant, a top official said Friday.

"We may go for bidding to purchase Jaypee's hydro plant. But any final decision in this regard will be taken with subject to approval from the government of India, a major stake holder," SJVNL chairman and managing director R.P. Singh told reporters here.

Jaypee Karcham Hydro Corp. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Jaypee Group, runs the 1,000 MW Karcham Wangtoo hydropower project, country's largest hydropower project in the private sector, some 250 km from the state capital.

The Karcham Wangtoo project is located in the catchment of SJVNL's 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri power project. Both are in Kinnaur district and located on the Satluj river.

"Since it is located in our vicinity, it will be a better proposition for us," Singh added.

The work on the Rs.6,903.37 crore hydro project of the Jaypee Group began in April 2006 and was completed in May 2011, three months ahead of schedule.

Jaypee's maiden project, the 300 MW Baspa Hydropower project, commenced commercial generation in 2003. It is located on the upstream of Karcham Wangtoo project.

On completion of SJVNL's another mega project in Himachal, Singh said trial runs for the commissioning of the 412 MW Rampur project, also located on the Satluj river, would start in December.

"The construction is nearing completion. Despite a few geological surprises encountered during the construction, the project is heading closer to its commissioning," he said.

The SJVNL, which Thursday approved a dividend of Re.0.96 per share (Rs.397.12 crore) and forays into thermal and the renewable energy sector project for the first time.

Singh admitted the commissioning of three hydro projects in Uttarakhand -- Devsari (252 MW), Naitwar Mori (60 MW), Jakhol Sankri (51 MW) -- would be delayed with the Supreme Court guidelines in the wake of natural disaster there.

It is also executing one project in Nepal and two in Bhutan.

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