US companies seek interest in Power Projects: Shinde
Washington, Apr 27: A large number of US power sector companies, including GE, ABB, Caterpillar and AES have companies evinced interest seeking participation in setting up of five Ultra Mega Power Projects of 4000 MW in India, Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said here today.
The Power Finance Corporation is establishing shell companies to set up these projects and obtain all necessary regulatory clearances and fuel linkages.
''The Ministry is inviting private investment from the US in these shell companies. The whole process of selection of private investors in these companies will be completed by January 2007,'' Mr Shinde told reporters at the Indian Embassy.
In a bid to make the power sector more accessible to the private investors, Mr Shinde said his Ministry has constituted an Inter Institutional Group to facilitate the financial closure of private sector projects. This group has provided a forum for interaction amongst promoters of power projects, banks, financial institutions and the Ministry of Power.
The financial closure of 13 power projects with an aggregate installed capacity of about 5000 MW has been facilitated by this group. The group is presently facilitating financial closure of another 10 projects with a total installed capacity of 11,432 MW, he added.
Enumerating the various reforms carried out by his ministry, he said the new Electricity Act notified in the year 2003 provides that Regulatory Commissions shall adopt the tariffs determined by transparent process of bidding in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Central Government.
''National Electricity Policy, notified in the year 2005, stipulates that all efforts would need to be made to bring the power industry at a stage in which competition will determine the price rather than any cost plus exercise,'' he said.
The delegation of Indian power sector lead by Mr Shinde, to New York, Washington DC, Chicago and LA, will also conduct a road show in US to inform the potential investors about the opportunities that the Indian power sector presents to them. US-India Business Council and FICCI are also organising meetings with US industry in all these places, Mr Shinde said.
The minister also met US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman yesterday and discussed various issues of Indo-US cooperation in the India-US Energy Dialogue.
India and US recently signed an agreement for Indian participation in the FutureGen project to develop zero emission coal based power plants.
They also discussed issues relating to clean coal technology, energy efficiency and conservation, participation of US companies in Indian power sector and energy security.