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AUG 13 2014

SembCorp to increase stake in Andhra Pradesh power plant

  • Economic Times, ET Bureau / Hyderabad
  • Created: Wed 13th AUG 2014

Singapore's Sembcorp IndustriesLtd expects a formal approval to increase its 45 per cent stake in the 1,320megawatt power plant in Andhra Pradesh within a "couple of months".

"We are waiting for approvaland we have already made an application (to the relevant authorities),"Tan Cheng Guan, Executive Vice President and Head of Group Business Development& Commercial at Sembcorp Industries told PTI.

In February, Sembcorp took 45 percent strategic stake in the 1,320-megawatt coal-fired power plant, located inKrishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore District.

NCC Infrastructure Holdings Ltd,jointly with Gayatri Energy Ventures Pvt Ltd, is building the plant which wouldstart operation by end of next year.

"I spoke to the governmentofficials and they think that the approval should come over the next couple ofmonths," said Tan on the sidelines of a Public Forum on India held by theInstitute of South Asia Studies, National University of Singapore and theConfederation of Indian Industry.

"We are very positive on thepower sector in India, especially with the new government encouraging moreforeign investment and private participation in the power sector.

"We think it is going to bepositive," said Tan. He did not state, however, as to how much the stakeis to be increased to.

Meanwhile, Sembcorp's 60 per centowned first power plant, also of 1,320-MW at Krishnapatnam, is expected tocommence operation from end of this year.

Thermal Powertech CorporationIndia, a joint venture between Sembcorp and India's Gayatri Energy Venture, isbuilding the plant.

Tan said both the plants havesecured local fuel from Coal India Ltd.

Meanwhile, Sembmarine KakinadaLtd, a joint venture of Sembcorp's Sembawang Shipyard and Kakinada SeaportsLtd, has started operation on the East Coast of Andhra Pradesh, according toTan.

Tan, who has been studyinginvestment in India since 2010, made the comments underlining the growingnumber of Singapore- based investors' plans for India.

Chairing the forum today,Singapore's Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh said Singapore would invest more inIndia as business climate improves.

Singapore's Emeritus SeniorMinister Goh Chok Tong is scheduled to visit India next month while India'sExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is due in Singapore later this week.

Speakers at the forum,"India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi", highlighted the return ofstrong Indian economic growth phase and the prospects of ever increasingopportunities for foreign investors, citing pro-business policies of the newPrime Minister.

"... the company's views arethat these cases are sub-judice and pending for adjudication before the SupremeCourt. The disputed demands, contested on valid and bona-fide grounds, havebeen disclosed as contingent liabilities as it is not probable that presentobligations exist as on March 31, 2014," SAIL said.

"Therefore, there is noadverse impact on profit. These cases were sub-judice as on March 31, 2012 and2013 also and there is no change in the status of these cases till date,"it added.


Andhra Pradesh Steel Authority of India Ltd. Confederation of Indian Industry Coal Energy Asia SAIL Indus Power India AIL

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