Tata Power turns to overseas for expansion

Mumbai: As project awards and execution have been down to trickle for quite some time for want of regulatory approvals, apart from mounting challenges on fuel supply front, Tata Power has decided to focus on overseas opportunities to meet its 2020 vision.

The country`s largest private sector power utility, which is the fourth largest among the Tata Group companies in terms of topline, has a 26,000 MW generation target by 2020.

"Considering the present situation (coal availability and delay in decision-making), I don`t believe that this target can be achieved from the domestic market, even though the country needs those kinds of capacities," Tata Power Managing Director Anil Sardana told PTI.

Therefore, the company is devoting a good part of its time and energy in identifying opportunities in foreign lands to meet its ambitious target of 26,000 MW by 2020, he said.

Accordingly, the company has shortlisted some places abroad to scout for suitable projects and partners. "We are certainly looking at the shortlisted geographies which include Africa, Southeast Asia region, the Middle East, the Far East starting from Indonesia, Vietnam, etc," Sardana said, adding that the company has enough fuel linkages for its existing plants, but there is no clarity for future projects.

"We have not really moved ahead with new projects in the country as there is no clarity on fuel supply, particularly for coal-fired plants," Sardana said.

In the immediate long-term, he said, the company will add about 4,000 MW by FY15 but did not specify if it would be from domestic or proposed overseas operations. "Our target is 10,000 MW by the end of the next two fiscals," he said.

Several issues, ranging from acute coal shortages to environmental hurdles and poor financial health of discoms, are hurting the country`s power sector, which has a generation capacity of over 2 lakh MW.