India's Tata Power looking overseas for transmission business

New Delhi, August 13, 2012 — India's second largest power producer Tata Power Co. is exploring opportunities overseas for transmission business, as the local market provides less scope for private participation in the sector.

Tata Power entered into transmission sector by acquiring 51 percent majority equity stake in a 1,200-circuit kilometer (high voltage 220 kv and 110 kv) Tala Transmission project, being executed by Powerlinks Transmission Ltd, a joint venture between Power Grid Corp of India Ltd and Tata Power.

Power Grid is currently the major player in the transmission sector and is operating about 94,000 circuit-kilometer of transmission lines along with 154 substations with a transformation capacity of over 131,000 megavolt ampere.

The development comes amid Tata Power's plans of looking for opportunities in overseas markets for its power generation business as well, because of delays in regulatory approvals and fuel shortage at home.

The company has set a generation target of 26,000 MW by 2020 and has shortlisted geographies including Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Far East starting from Indonesia and Vietnam, for setting up power projects and sourcing fuel.

Fuel supply constraints, delays in environmental and regulatory approvals and poor financial health of power distribution companies have dented the power generation capacity of India. Presently, Tata Power sources coal from four mines in Indonesia and two in Australia.

Currently, India has a power generation capacity of over 200,000 MW with a peak shortfall of 10 percent. It aims to add 88,000 MW capacity during the 12th Five Year Plan Period (2012-17).

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