Indian firm plans British CHP utility purchase

Indian state-ownedà‚ Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) is planning to buy a heat and power utility in the UK, according to the firms managing director, as India attempts to make greater strides in energy efficiency.

The company also plans to simultaneously invest in firms setting up fast-charging electric vehicle infrastructure and large battery storage in Canada.

EESL is a joint venture of NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and POWERGRID and was set up under the Indian Ministry of Power to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency projects.

“As far as the international operations are concerned, I would say we have got much more traction in Europe than anywhere else,” Saurabh Kumar, managing director of EESL, said in an interview before a partnership announcement with Leclanché.

“The markets are mature and they understand energy efficiency much more than they do in Asia or South-East Asia, where it is just about starting,” he added.

“We are almost close to investing around à‚£100m. Right now, it is à‚£10m to à‚£15m (invested in the UK) but we are looking at acquisition of a à‚£55m company there,” Kumar said. “It is in combined heat and power, and district cooling.”

“One of the items is what is called district cooling and tri-generation… we are trying to acquire an entity which has expertise in combined heat and power. I can’t disclose it. Commercial due diligence is going on,” Kumar added.

The announcement on the UK’s heat and power utility’s acquisition is expected to be confirmed in December.

The company also plans to put forward what would be a à‚£100m investment plan, including a $12m investment in the first utility scale energy storage facility by Leclanché and Deltro Energy to balance the Ontario power grid.

“The other investment is in fast-charging infrastructure,” Kumar said, which is in line with India’s proposed electric vehicle programme enabling grid balancing, besides complementing the government’s push for solar power, which is generated during the day and can be stored in EV batteries.

“Once 175 GW of renewable energy is going to come into the grid, you will need lots and lots of grid stabilization,” Kumar said.
India plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 33-35% from its 2005 levels by 2030, as part of its commitments to the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

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