The company expects to achieve financial closure for one road project and the letter of intent for the nuclear power contract this month
Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) is expected to emerge as the lowest bidder in two of the contracts issued for nuclear power projects under the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) quota.
“We are the lowest bidder in five to six projects of the value of Rs4,500 crore. One of the latest projects in which we are likely to be the lowest bidder is the nuclear power project given under the RAPP quota for Units 7 and 8,” said Praveen Sood, group CFO, HCC. The letter of intent for this project is likely to be given within this month.
The contract, if awarded, would comprise developing a Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) for Unit 7 and Unit 8 under the RAPP quota, each unit having an expected capacity of 700MW each. The investment in such projects is being quoted at around Rs8 crore per MW. Both these units are expected to start commercial operations by 2016.
In addition, the HCC Group, which also has a wide presence in the road sector, plans financial closures for one of the three road projects currently in its kitty. “We plan to achieve financial closure for one of the three road projects that we have, this month,” said Mr Sood. He refused to divulge any further details of the financial closure.
HCC had been awarded three National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) projects to develop three contiguous sections of approximately 256 km length between Bahrampore to Dalkhola on NH-34 in West Bengal on a build-operate-transfer basis. Financial closure for one of these three projects is expected to take place this month.
In a letter dated 26th March, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had notified the villagers that a public feedback meeting would be held to record their suggestions regarding the proposed project, but the villagers have boycotted the meet
Work on the Navi Mumbai International Airport has run into fresh trouble with villagers affected by the proposed project boycotting a crucial meeting with the authorities today.
"We believe that the conditions being put forth are not in our best interests," said Mahindra Patil, sarpanch of Pargaon, one of the affected villages where agricultural land is yet to be acquired by CIDCO.
The villagers met yesterday evening to discuss the matter among themselves, and thereafter, chose to boycott today's meeting. They have also handed over written petitions detailing the reasons behind their non co-operation to the authorities, including CIDCO, the district collector, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), and the tehsildar.
In a letter dated 26 March 2010, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had notified the villagers that a public feedback meeting will be held on 5 May 2010. The main objective of the meeting was to get feedback from the villagers regarding the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report that was presented to them by the authorities in mid-March 2010.
The EIA report, put together by the Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering (CESE), IIT Bombay, runs into five volumes and contains reports that were prepared by specialised agencies commissioned to study various environmental aspects of the project. The EIA report notes in section 4.12 (Land Status & Settlement) of its first volume (Executive Summary) that out of the 2,054 hectares (ha) required for the project, 1,154ha is in City and Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (CIDCO)'s possession, 443ha of government land is being transferred to CIDCO, while the balance is private land that is still being acquired.
Confirming the same in his presentation on Wednesday, Jayant Kulkarni, general manager for SEZ, CIDCO additionally disclosed that of the 443ha of Government land, 188ha has already been transferred to CIDCO.
While CIDCO has been tight-lipped on any specific deadline for land acquisition, it is learnt that a special land acquisition officer (SLO), Nandakumar Koshti, is currently overseeing the land acquisition activities pertaining to the airport. While the SLO has not yet commented on the precise status of these land acquisitions, some in his office have confirmed that they are currently working on the matter.
According to information provided by the villagers, the last public declaration pertaining to land acquisition was published in local newspapers on 16 February 2010. This declaration has lead to more confusion and discontent among the villagers as the purpose of land acquisition in it has been changed to "Navi Mumbai Project" as opposed to the "International Airport" cited in an earlier declaration dated 10 January 2010.
Many locals strongly believe that portions of the land being acquired under the project will be used for other projects too. They said that they have tried to ascertain the reason for this sudden change in the declaration, and have not yet received any convincing answer.
They have also pointed out that a resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) committee was to be formed with representation from each of the affected villages. This too has not yet materialised.
In the meeting today, officials further informed that the EIA has been submitted to the Centre and environmental clearance is awaited.
Replying to queries, an official confirmed that a second phase of the hydro-geological survey conducted by the Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), Water Supply and Sanitation Department, government of Maharashtra, is yet to be undertaken. The GSDA has recommended in the current EIA that a second phase be conducted since the present hydro-geological study collected and analysed only post-monsoon data. The second phase will include pre-monsoon data, among other things.
CIDCO reiterated in its presentation today that it expects to start work on the project this year and is aiming to complete the first phase of the project by 2013, at an estimated cost of Rs4,952 crore. However, if today's protests are indicative of things to come, the project is in for a tough ride, and it might be very difficult to stop it from running into additional time and cost overruns.
The M&A deal value during April stood at $1.74 billion and rose 57% over the same period last year
Corporate India's merger and acquisition (M&A) deal activity stood at $1.74 billion in April taking the total M&A kitty so far this year to $21 billion, reports PTI.
According to the monthly deal report of VCCEdge, the financial research platform of VCCircle.com, the M&A deal value during April stood at $1.74 billion and rose 57% over the same period last year.
The deal count also witnessed an upward trend and increased to 49 in April compared to 28 in the year-ago period.
"On a month-on-month basis, deal value in April 2010 was substantially lower than that in March 2010. In terms of deal value, the monthly activity began with slow momentum in February and accelerated in March to reach $14.1 billion. However, this pace could not be maintained and activity recorded a dip at $1.74 billion in April," the report said.
The month of April saw as many as 25 domestic deals worth $815 million, compared to 13 deals worth $603 million in the year-ago period, the report added.
Besides, the number of outbound deals more than doubled from eight in April 2009 to 18 this year while the number of inbound deals remained almost unchanged with five deals in April this year as against seven deals witnessed last year during the same time.
Larger deals ($50 million and above) continued their dominance and accounted for 87% of total capital invested in April 2010.
The DLF Assets deal, where one of the country’s largest listed real-estate firms, DLF, hiked its stake in a group company, DLF Assets, to 91.9% for $694 million, was the largest transaction for the month.
Apart from the DLF deal, some of the other major M&A transactions in April include Jindal Steel & Power’s $500 million buyout of Abu Dhabi-based Shadeed Iron & Steel Co and Godrej Consumer Products' acquisition of Indonesia based PT Megasari Mamsur for $269 million.
Meanwhile, a sector-wise analysis shows that finance, manufacturing and consumer goods were the most targeted sectors, as these segments attracted deals worth $694 million, $526 million and $303 million, respectively.
In terms of deal volume, the most active sector was information technology (IT), which cornered 10 deals followed by consumer goods and manufacturing with eight deals each in April 2010.