Describing India as a growth platform in power sector, a Singapore-based firm has said it will enhance its presence in the country to tap the ever-growing power market. Sembcorp Industries big push in India is 2,640-megawatt Sembcorp Gayatri Power Complex in Andhra Pradesh, which opened earlier this year. The $3 billion facility has the distinction of being the largest foreign direct investment-driven project on a single site in the thermal energy sector with two 1,320-MW supercritical coal-fired power plants.
“India is short of power. We were able to deliver the plants on time,” Sembcorp Industries CEO Tang Kin Fei said. “The project had been delayed and we provided the funding to complete it,” Fei was quotes as saying by ‘The Straits Times’. While the first of two plants in the complex is now operational, the second should be up and running by the end of the year, after overcoming some teething problems.
Sembcorp is bidding for a 500-MW long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Andhra Pradesh, where a new capital city Amaravati is being built. If the (PPA) deal is secured, then three of the four units, each of 660-MW, would be under long-term agreements, the report said, citing a report by a research unit of OCBC bank in Singapore.
Tang said the future of Sembcorp lay with utilities in the medium term at least. “There are essential services that we provide, that’s why we are going for these rapidly developing economies where there will be a demand for such services,” Tang said. Tang said he was confident that the demand for power in India will increase and there will be plenty of room for growth, given the expected economic growth of more than 7 per cent this year.
The Singapore industrial group holds a majority 68.74 per cent stake in Sembcorp Green Infra which has wind and solar assets across seven Indian states. “Sembcorp Green Infra is a growth platform for our renewable energy business. It will be part of this new growth engine and enhance our product line,” said Tang of his group’s participation in renewable energy business in India. With power and green businesses, Sembcorp now has $4 billion assets and employs around 900 staff in India.