The Telegraph
Thursday , January 30 , 2014
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PSUs in power-packed pact

Farooq Abdullah (right), minister of new and renewable energy, with Praful Patel in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)

New Delhi, Jan. 29: Six state-owned companies, led by Bhel, have come together to set up a 4,000MW solar power plant in Rajasthan at an initial investment of Rs 7,500 crore.

The plant, to be set up over eight years, will be spread across 19,000 acres at Sambhar in Rajasthan.

“The MoU signed today will have to get the approval of the cabinet and then the project will move forward,” minister of heavy industries Praful Patel said during the signing of the pact here today.

The venture is part of a bigger plan by the government to set up four such large renewable energy projects.

Bhel will have a 26 per cent stake in the joint venture company, while Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will hold 23 per cent. Sambhar Salt Ltd, Power Grid Corporation and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL) will each hold 16 per cent in the joint venture, while Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Ltd (REIL) will own 3 per cent.

The project will come up on land available with Sambhar Salt. The equipment will be supplied by Bhel, power evacuation done by PowerGrid, electricity sale by SECI, operation and maintenance by REIL and project management by SJVNL.

The joint venture will develop the first phase of 1,000MW on engineering, procurement and construction basis over three years. Bhel will supply the solar cells and modules for this phase.

Bhel stake sale

Patel said the proposed 5 per cent divestment in Bhel could be through cross holding, which is expected to fetch about Rs 1,300 crore to the exchequer.

“As far as the Bhel stake sale is concerned, we have ruled out going to the market for a 5 per cent divestment because we feel that market conditions are not suitable for the moment for such a valuable company to be sold in the open market,” Patel said.