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Shinde calls for investment, technological cooperation from Canada in power sector

By Nairita Das

New Delhi, Sep 17 (ANI): Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has invited Canada to invest in the power sector of India, which is growing at a rapid pace with huge opportunities for investments and technological cooperation.

"India is one of the most attractive investment destination today and keenly looks forward to investments and joint ventures from Canada in manufacturing energy equipments," said Shinde highlighting the resilience shown by the Indian economy during the global slowdown with registering a 7.4 percent growth rate in 2009-10.

"Also, there is a vast potential for participation in India's offshore exploration activities in the oil and gas sector," he added, while addressing the Business Luncheon Meeting with QIBC in Montreal, Canada, on Thursday.

Mentioning about the longstanding bilateral relationship between the two countries, Shinde called for technological cooperation and collaboration in the area of shale gas, where Canada is far ahead.

He also mentioned the areas of interest to India which include hydel power, nuclear power, supply of uranium, mining, clean coal technology, energy efficiency, oil and gas, smart grid, ultra high voltage transmission technology and collaborative research and development.

"With more than one hundred and sixty thousand MW, the Indian power sector has the fifth largest electricity generation capacity in the world today and is the world's third largest transmission and distribution network," said Shinde addressing the gathering.

"However, the demand from increased manufacturing activities, a growing population and the rising energy needs of a rapidly growing consumer base has led to a situation where the supply of energy falls short of the demand," he added.

Shinde observed that in the electricity sector alone, the country face a peaking shortage of almost 12 percent and an energy shortage of 9 to 10 percent.

"To meet this requirement the government is targeting a capacity addition of 62 thousand MW in the 11th Five Year Plan during the years 2012 -2017. During 2007-2012, the funding requirement in Indian Power Sector has been estimated at USD 230 billion, out of which USD 132 billion is in power generation and balance in power transmission and distribution," said Shinde.

"Such a gigantic task can be successful only when the efforts of Govt. are strongly supported and complemented by the private sector," he added.

Highlighting the various steps taken by the Government to make the policy framework more conducive to larger and more sustained investment in the power sector, Shinde said : "The Electricity Act 2003 allows the sector to align itself with market dynamics and clears the roadblocks especially in the way of greater participation by the private sector. Generation projects no longer require licenses and have reasonable assured returns on investments over the long term. An independent regulatory framework now provides business confidence to power companies and a fairly lucrative rate of return on equity of 15.5 percent per annum."

"Policy documents like the National Electricity Policy, 2005 and the Tariff Policy, 2006 have paved the way for renewed interest amongst both developers and investors. Bidding documents have been standardized and the competitive bidding route is slowly becoming the norm," he added.

Shinde earlier had bilateral meetings with Canadian Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan and Quebec Vice Premier and Minister of Natural Resources Nathalie.

Both the countries reiterated the wish to further enhance the cooperation between the two countries especially in the energy sector. (ANI)

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