NTPC is eyeing about 10 GW of the nearly 30 GW of private power plants likely to move to the bankruptcy court if lenders are unable to close resolution proceedings before the November 14 Supreme Court hearing. An NTPC executive said the forward auction bidding will be more transparent and spare the company from questions on asset valuations. At present, auction in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is carried out in sealed envelopes. The power ministry is demanding bidding akin to the forward e-auction for non-power coal blocks where the bidders can see highest bids on screen and revise their bids.
NTPC is gearing up to bid for 8,000-10,000 MW of stressed private power projects when they are moved to the bankruptcy court. The company has identified 8-9 power plants and has negotiated with banks for funding, a senior company executive said. The company will look at commissioned projects with easy spare parts availability and coal transportation faciliies.
Problems in authentic valuation of stressed projects had earlier forced NTPC to abandon a proposal to acquire some of the troubled plants. The company had in November last year called tenders from developers and lenders of stressed power plants. It received interest from four private power projects. Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd had offered its Nigrie power project to NTPC for acquisition while State Bank of India has proposed stake sale in three stressed plants of Bajaj Lalitpur, Jaypee Infratech and Jindal India Thermal to the staterun firm.
ET had earlier reported that the banks are continuing to drag their feet on resolution proceedings of a dozen stressed power plants, which received bids. There is no consensus among lenders on resolution plans for stressed assets besides a few plants like 600 MW Jhabua power plant of Avantha Power and Prayagraj Power Gen Corp’s 1,980 MW Bara power plant that may finalise deals before the Supreme Court hearing on November 14.
Sources in the banking industry said no headway has been made in resolution of most stressed power projects. Resolutions for 1,320 MW RattanIndia Amravati plant in Maharashtra, 1,370 MW GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Ltd, Jhabua and Prayagraj plants are very close but some small lenders are still resisting.
The banks and power producers got an interim relief from the Reserve Bank circular’s mandate referring the projects to the insolvency court due to the Supreme Court’s order to maintain a status quo. Power companies had moved courts after the RBI refused extension of deadline for completing resolutions of stressed power plants.