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NTPC to acquire Rajasthan coal power plant

Indian national utility NTPC has agreed to buy a coal-fired power plant from Rajasthan’s state-owned utility as part of a strategy to acquire stranded assets. à‚ 

In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed late last week, Rajasthan utility RVUNL agreed that NTPC will take over the 1 GW Chhabra power plant’s four 250 MW units by March. Two supercritical 660 MW units, currently under construction, will be transferred to NTPC once they are commissioned.

“After transfer of Chhabra [thermal power plant] to NTPC, state government will receive equity as per latest valuation and the losses incurred from Chhabra will stop after transfer of plant and debt liabilities of state government shall also be reduced,” a government statement said. à‚ 

The Chhabra plant was commissioned in 2010 with a capacity of 500 MW and was subsequently expanded to 1 GW, with unit 3 commissioned in 2013 and unit 4 in 2014. In a November 2016 statement, the state government said unit 5 was synchronized in October 2016, while unit 6 is planned for commissioning in 2018.

Initial bidders for the plant had included Tata Power, Adani Power and a joint bid from AES India and Macquarie Group Ltd. à‚ 

NTPC has recently floatedà‚ bidsà‚ for other stranded assets owned by Indian states, while reportedly aiming to phase out 11 GW of its own older plants.