• Government plans two funds to charge up power sector

    The power ministry plans to set up two funds of $1billion each to enable alternative financing options for stressed power assets and renewable energy projects.The two funds have been proposed under the ambit of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

    “NIIF is the fund of funds within which we will set up a sub-fund which will focus on renewable energy projects and give investment support for faster ramp up of renewable energy. It is under our active consideration and we may launch it in the near future,” power minister Piyush Goyal told ET in an interview. “We are also in dialogue with certain bankers to see if we could look at a stressed power asset fund. It may take us some more months to put its framework in place.”

    Asked about the size of the funds, Goyal said, “Each of these funds could easily be of the size of $1billion.”

    The government set up the Rs 40,000 crore NIIF in as an investment vehicle to fund commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects. The power ministry’s renewable energy fund will be seeded with initial capital from a few state-run companies and will be driven largely by the private sector.

    “It will be run and managed by an investment manager who will be chosen through international bidding. We would like to keep the entire fund professionally managed – something like a Temasek or a GIC model. We have the entire framework in place. We have also got investment commitments of REC, PFC and NTPC already lined up. This fund can be launched quickly ,” Goyal said. Temasek and GIC are Singapore government-owned investment firms.

    Finance minister Arun Jaitley had sought investment from Singapore in NIIF at a meeting on Friday with visiting Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

    Goyal said the Centre is working on a mega investment plan for the power sector that includes extending investment support to the tune of Rs 1.1 lakh crore to states under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana and the Integrated Power Development Scheme.

    Additional investments worth over Rs 1 lakh crore will materialise through the implementation of four planned ultra mega power projects of 4,000 MW capacity each. Whitey Herzog Womens Jersey

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