Vedanta Resources investment into power shows no sign of slowing as three new plants prepare to come onstream
London-listed metals and mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources Plc. plans to increase its operational power generation capacity in India to 10,000 Megawatt (MW) within a year by bringing three operation-ready projects onstream shortly, thereby completing its Rs.50,000 crore power investment cycle that was set in motion five years back, reports said, quoting a senior company executive.
One of the largest private sector power generators in the country has a current capacity of 6,500 MW running on ground. Over this, the company will commission its 1,980 MW Talwandi Sabo project in Punjab in a few months, for which Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) was signed recently with Coal India. Ltd. (CIL). Also, the 1,200 MW Balco project will come on stream in Chhattisgarh along with a 210 MW plant at Lanjigarh in Odisha, the official reportedly said.
The group has so far invested more than Rs. one lakh crore in India including the power investment since 2007. Interestingly, except for the 1,980 MW Talwandi project, the entire 10,000 MW capacity has been set up by billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta for in-house or captive use to fire its aluminium, copper and zinc smelters across states. Vedanta’s currently operational power capacity includes the 2,400 MW captive project at Jharsuguda in Odisha. The project was linked to the Rampia and Dipside of Rampia coal blocks allocated jointly to, Arcelor Mittal, Reliance Energy, GMR, Lanco, Navabharat Power Ventures and Vedanta subsidiary Sterlite Energy.
After the recent exit of Arcelor Mittal, Vedanta is operating the plant on linkage from CIL subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL). In addition, the company is running 810 MW capacity for its Balco Aluminium project in Chhattisgarh and 474 MW capacity at Hindustan Zinc, another subsidiary, projects in Rajasthan. The company is currently panning to participate in the upcoming auctioning of captive coal blocks by the government apart from the tariff-based competitive bidding for two Ultra Mega Power Projects at Odisha and Tamil Nadu. The government has finalized the coal block allocation policy and invited bids for the two UMPPs.