The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Breather for Dabhol Power
- Enron reappoints 4 directors on the board of the company

Mumbai, Nov. 6 (PTI): Bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp has given a fresh lease of life to dying Dabhol Power Company (DPC) by reappointing four representatives on the company’s board, thus regularising its day to day functioning.

“Enron has the right to put seven directors on the DPC board, but currently it has mandated four directors, who are actually the employees of General Electric and Bechtel Enterprises to represent its interests in the company,” a senior official of a financial institution said here today.

With these reappointments, DPC board’s strength has risen to eight as it already has representations from GE, Bechtel, Industrial Development Bank of India and ICICI Bank, he said.

The new directors are R. Nassar, K. Mckarthy, D. Brown and R. Duncan, the official said adding that despite 14.4 per cent stake in DPC, MSEB’s Maharashtra Power Development Corporation Ltd has disputed the troubled company’s annual general meeting held on September 9.

“Moreover, MSEB had challenged the AGM in the Mumbai High Court and stated that it wanted to appoint two directors on DPC’s board instead of the mandatory one,” he added.

However, in its order of October 30, a division bench of Jutices H. Gokhale and Nishita Mhatre rejected MSEB’s appeal and directed both the warring parties to reapproach the Company Law Board (CLB) for regularising the board within eight weeks, for normal functioning.

While Enron Mauritius owns 65.6 per cent stake in DPC, MPDCL has 14.4 per cent interest with GE and Bechtel at 10 per cent each in the $ 3 billion power project.

The order also upheld an earlier high court order of September 27 restricting DPC from pursuing international arbitration against the Maharashtra government in London for a period of eight weeks.

In its appeal, MPDCL had said that it wanted MSEB chairman A.K. Mago and state principal energy secretary Ravi Buddhiraja as its representatives on the board as other shareholders were trying to usurp control over DPC.

The other DPC directors are Kevin Walsh of General Electric, Donald Sturner of Bechtel, special director Peter Freeman and IDBI nominee G.M. Ramamurthy.

After the collapse of its multinational parent Enron early this year, DPC witnessed resignations of 10 directors over a period of time and was left with mere two nominees of GE and Bechtel before the reconstitution.

The directors who resigned are representatives of Enron Mauritius—K. Wade Cline and S. Mohan Gurunath (both former managing directors of DPC), Kimberlee Driscoll, James Hughes, Jefrey Sommers, Robert Walls, Bruce Lundstrom, ICICI nominee Sandeep Bakhshi, IDBI nominee R.S. Agarwal and MPDCL director Ravi Buddhiraja.

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