The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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PowerGrid plugs into overseas ventures

Mumbai, July 4: Going down the road taken by oil companies, Power Grid Corporation of India (PowerGrid) is tapping business opportunities abroad. One of them is in Kazhakstan, where the company could help agencies there set up power-wheeling systems.

The Kazhakstan venture is still in its infancy, but it could require the public sector undertaking to provide expertise in return for equity or consultancy fee, once the project gets going, chairman R. P. Singh said here today.

He was speaking after a shareholder agreement his company reached with Tata Power for the Tala-Delhi transmission project a 51:49 joint venture in which the Tatas hold the majority of shares. Tala is in Bhutan.

Tata Power managing director Firdose Vandrevala said the project would be the forerunner of future private-public sector partnerships. Leading global lending agencies like the Washington-based IFC, World Bank and Asian Development Bank are impressed with the venture and even want to replicate similar arrangements abroad. So far, such initiatives have come unstuck in Argentina and Pakistan, he said.

Singh said the first inter-state joint venture transmission line project, a first in the history of the global energy sector with private sector participation, will provide PowerGrid the experience to strike similar deals. The target set by the government of doubling the power generating capacity to two lakh MW will bring forth the importance of transmission in this country.

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