Gayatri Projects’ unit to set up 1320MW thermal power project in JV with Sembcorp Utilities

Gayatri Projects Ltd said its unit Gayatri Energy Ventures Pvt Ltd will set up a 1,320 MW (660 x 2 MW) phase I supercritical technology based thermal power plant, worth Rs6,869 crore, at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, in a joint venture with Sembcorp Utilities Pte Ltd.

The project is being implemented by a special purpose vehicle called Thermal Powertech Corporation India Ltd. The estimated cost of the 1,320 MW (Phase I) project is Rs6,869 crore. The debt component would be Rs5,151 crore and the equity would be Rs1,178 crore. According to the agreement, Sembcorp Utilities, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries Ltd, will be investing about Rs1,100 crore in Phase I of the project.

On Tuesday, Gayatri Projects ended 7.59% down at Rs418.40 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex closed 2.71% down at 16,022.48 points.
 

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ONGC in talks with global energy giants for tie-up for KG gas block

ONGC is looking for a partner after Norway's Statoil and Petrobras of Brazil decided to quit the block KG-DWN-98/2 due to government delays in approving their participation in the deep-sea acreage

State-owned exploration major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is in talks with global energy majors BP Plc, Exxon Mobil, BG Group, Eni and BHP Billiton for a strategic tie-up for its Krishna Godavari (KG) basin gas block, reports PTI.

"We are looking at exploration firms with expertise to produce from deep-sea. We have opened our KG basin block data to global companies and have sought firm offer by 31st May," ONGC director (exploration) Dinesh Pande told reporters in New Delhi.

ONGC is looking for a partner after Norway's Statoil and Petrobras of Brazil decided to quit the block KG-DWN-98/2 due to government delays in approving their participation in the deep-sea acreage.

The block now has 10 gas discoveries and ONGC plans to tie up these with six gas finds in the neighbouring 1G block to begin production in next three to four years.

Pande said KG-DWN-98/2 was awarded under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) and the policy allows it to farm out a participating interest (equity stake) to foreign firms.

But since Block 1G was given to it on a nomination basis, it cannot sell stake to any firm. ONGC can at best involve a foreign firm as a service contractor.

"The companies have to decide if they are comfortable with taking stake in one block and being a service contractor in the other," he said.

BP, Exxon, BG and Eni have already seen the data of the prospects ONGC has discovered in the KG-DWN-98/2, which sits next to Reliance Industries' (RIL) prolific KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block, and 1G block in the Bay of Bengal. BHP has also shown interest but it has not seen the data as yet.

ONGC has 65% interest in KG-DWN-98/2 that has been assessed to hold 14 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves. It has 100% stake in 1G.

The company plans to tie up discoveries in the two blocks to produce 25-30 million metric standard cubic meters a day (mmscmd) by 2015.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA or Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil firm has offered ONGC its 15% interest in KG-DWN-98/2 without any cost. Similarly, Statoil has decided against participating in future drilling in the acreage off the Andhra coast.

This follows apparent unwillingness of the oil ministry and its technical wing Director General of Hydrocarbons DGH to accord approvals for equity participation by foreign companies and the inordinate delays in clearing the drilling programmes.

ONGC, a few years back, had bought 90% stake in the block from Cairn India. In 2007, it farmed out 15% interest in the block to Petrobras and 10% to Norsk Hydro (now Statoil Hydro). Cairn still holds 10% stake in the block.

The block now has 10 discoveries and appraisal drilling is now required to be carried out to assess the potential before finalising development of gas fields.

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Select export sectors may get more sops: Minister

Labour-oriented export sectors like handicraft, jute, engineering goods and electronics registered negative growth in March, despite the country's overall exports showing 54.1% expansion

Exporters of engineering products and handicrafts may get more fiscal sops to help them tide over the demand crunch, according to commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, reports PTI.

"We will have to tweak those sectors which have not recovered," Mr Sharma said.

He said the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in his ministry would complete a performance review of different sectors in July.

Labour-oriented export sectors like handicraft, jute, engineering goods and electronics registered negative growth in March, despite the country's overall exports showing 54.1% expansion.

In a similar exercise in December, the government had provided some market- and product-linked incentives. For encouraging export diversification outside the western economies, the commerce ministry had extended incentives on shipments to 41 new markets.

The government intervened with a stimulus packages when exports plunged after October, 2008, under the impact of global financial woes.

"It was a tough call because last May, our exports were in deep red, -39.4%," Mr Sharma said, adding that the export sector has seen a broad-based consolidation.

According to a senior commerce ministry official, incentives could be shuffled among different sectors. Those doing well like gems and jewellery may have to vacate some sops for the segments still in trouble.

In 2009-10, India's exports dipped by 4.7% to $176.5 billion from $185.29 in the previous fiscal.

Mr Sharma, who is also in charge of the industry department, said consolidation has also taken place in the manufacturing sector.

The manufacturing sector, which saw growth dive to 3.3% in March, 2009, had peaked at 18.5% growth in December, 2009.

His ministry is working on a plan to give a fresh impetus to the sector. A concept paper on setting up National Manufacturing Investment Zones (NMIZs) has been placed in the public domain.

Some of the suggestions, like giving flexibility to units in NMIZs to downsize the workforce, are considered radical.

Mr Sharma said, however, there would be provisions for social safety for the workers.

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