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With an aim to leverage its tower infrastructure, state-run Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) is planning to offer at least 10-20 per cent of its 1.5 lakh tower assets to telecom operators.
The company has already approached the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for approval on the same, PGCIL chairman and managing director IS Jha told reporters here today.
"We have 1.5 lakh towers across the country. We wanted to use them for the telecom business where we can give it to telecom operators. It will be a good source of income for us," he said. Jha further said since the government has emphasised on reducing consumption of diesel to reduce pollution, the telecom operators will have a good option in our towers.
Telecom regulator Trai has recommended 40 per cent reduction in carbon emission in the telecom network by 2022-23, with base year being 2011-12. The regulator has also suggested that the government should pass all the benefits granted under various schemes for using renewable energy technologies to telecom operators.
"We hope that even if 10-20 per cent of our assets would be utilised, it will give good business," Jha added. Power Grid has set a capex of Rs 25,000 crore for the current financial year and plans to raise around 70 per cent of it through debt, especially domestic bonds.
The company at present has total works of worth around Rs 1,10,000 crore scheduled for completion in the next two to three years. Of this, around Rs 75,000 crore worth of projects are ongoing and about Rs 2,500 are new, he said.
During FY18, PGCIL incurred capital expenditure to the tune of Rs 25,791 crore, and capitalised assets worth Rs 27,370 crore.
For its future business, the state-owned electric utilities company is also looking at opportunities in electric vehicle charging stations, battery storage, railway electrification and telecommunication works with Railtel, according to Jha.
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