Monday, November 29, 1999

RIL for mega-investment in power sector, to bid for UMPPs

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Mumbai, June 18 (PTI) Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is looking to bid for ultra mega-power projects (UMPPs) and make huge investments in the sector, Chairman Mukesh Ambani said today. "The power business is a natural and synergistic extension of our energy portfolio. We will clearly bid for all UMPPs projects and in the next few months, we will have very concrete investment plans for the sector," Ambani told shareholders at the company''s 36th annual general meeting here. The company plans a mega-investment programme in the power sector which will generate value, he said. The UMPP bids may mark Mukesh''s entry into the power sector. The government has invited bids for the 4,000 MW Sarguja UMPP in Chhattisgarh and a similar project at Bedabahal in Orissa in July. "We are drawing up specific plans for mega-investment in this sector, with clean coal-based power generation projects, hydel projects and also in nuclear power, as and when it is opened up. We are also focused on the alternative energy domain, with priority on solar power," Ambani said. Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and younger brother Anil Ambani''s ADAG signed a new non-compete agreement last month which opens up the full range of power business for Reliance, except non-captive gas-based power plants until 2022, Ambani said. This paves the way for Reliance to participate in the whole value-chain of the power business, spanning generation, transmission and distribution. "We are ready to bring into full play our investment mobilisation capabilities, as well as our superior project execution capabilities, into a sector that is crying out for transformational mega-initiatives," he said. The demand for electricity is humongous, given the billion-plus population, rising aspirations and the high rate of economic growth. Lack of availability of electricity in quantity and quality at competitive prices is a big infirmity in India''s socio-economic growth and employment generation. PTI AP AA JJ ARV.

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