Lenders to take over 500-MW Teesta VI project in India

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Reports indicate that several companies that have lent money to Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Pvt Ltd are converting their outstanding loans into 51% equity in the company, after the borrower fell behind on repayments.

The Reserve Bank of India allows lenders to convert outstanding loans into equity as part of its strategic debt restructuring program, with a goal of helping lenders find buyers for “stressed assets.” This step can only take place after the project has failed to meet some critical milestones.

Outstanding loans to this company are valued at Rs 24 billion. Using this formula, about Rs 7.8 billion will be converted into equity.

The consortium of lenders involved in this transaction, led by Indian multinational bank and financial services company ICICI Bank Limited, includes some large public and private sector banks.

Lanco Teesta Hydro Power is fully held by Lanco InfraTech. The company is developing the 500-MW Teesta VI project on the Teesta River in Sikkim State. Total cost for the project was expected to be Rs 32.8 billion.

The underground powerhouse is to contain four 125-MW turbine-generator units. HydroWorld.com reported that Alstom Hydro of France won a contract to supply equipment for the Teesta VI project in July 2009. Twelve percent of the power produced was to go to Sikkim as a royalty, with the remainder being sold on the market.

Some media outlets reported Lanco had released an official announcement, but we were unable to locate it to verify some details.

Lanco sold its 70-MW Budhil hydro plant to Greenko in 2014.

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