NTPC has shortlisted power plants of GVK, Essar and Avantha out of 32 proposals it received from private electricity producers eager to sell stakes to the state-run behemoth, which is willing to invest as much as Rs 10,000 crore to acquire minority interest in stranded projects.
The power producer had also shown interest in and seriously appraised debt-laden power and infrastructure major Lanco's coalbased power plants, industry sources said. But it has now rejected them. "The shortlisting procedure is on its last leg and some finality can be expected soon as NTPC has now shortlisted GVK, Essar and Avantha's thermal power assets and is seriously appraising these projects," said an industry executive with direct knowledge of the development.
NTPC and Lanco did not respond to ET's queries, while GVK and Avantha said they don't respond to speculation. NTPC in December called expressions of interest for the second time for acquiring coal-based thermal power projects, to put to use its cash reserve. In this round, it asked for applications from state electricity boards and power generation companies, independent power producers, power plant developers and captive producers.
Its earlier invitation saw an exuberant response from the private sector. As many as 32 projects with a cumulative generation capacity of 55,000 Mw were hawked and NTPC appointed consultancy KPMG to help it pick the best of the lot.
Senior industry sources said that NTPC is appraising the Avantha group's Jhabua Power assets in Madhya Pradesh where 1,260 Mw thermal capacity is being built in two phases of 600 Mw each. Last November, Adani Power purchased Avantha's Korba West Power Co, which owns a 600 Mw coal-fired plant in Chhattisgarh, for Rs 4,200 crore.