Adani After More Thermal Capacity, Acquires 49% Stake in OPGC

Adani has picked up a minority stake in Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) – a thermal power generating company owned by the Government of Odisha.

Fresh from its monumental win in the manufacturing linked solar power tender issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the Adani Group has picked up a minority (49 percent) stake in Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) – the only thermal power generating company owned by Government of Odisha. Adani has acquired all the shares held by US-based AES Corporation in the business.

The OPGC operates 1,740 MW thermal power plant at Banharpalli in Jharsuguda district, Odisha. This plant is the mainstay of the Odisha state for baseload power supply and amongst the lowest-cost power generated in the state. The supercritical capacity of 1,320 MW is a recently commissioned modern plant with a low carbon footprint. It already has a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) valid for 25 years with the state-owned off-taker GRIDCO.

“Adani Power Ltd (APL) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the 49 percent stake in Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) from the affiliates of The AES Corporation (AES), the US-based global energy company,” a regulatory filing said.

The firm will acquire a total of 89,30,237 equity shares held in OPGC representing 49 percent of the total issued, paid-up and subscribed equity share capital of OPGC for USD 135 million.

Now, in a time when conventional power companies across the world are scrambling to divest their businesses to feature more clean energy assets and commitments – Adani has made its second large investment in thermal power in just the last 30 days.

The May 27 announcement by the firm for a 1320 MW thermal power deal in Madhya Pradesh had raised more questions than it answered. The company’s subsidiary Pench Thermal Energy (MP) had signed a 25 year power purchase agreement (PPA) with MP Power Management Company (MPPMCL) for procurement of 1230 MW of electricity on long term basis from a new power station of 1320 MW capacity to be set up on Super Critical technology in the State of Madhya Pradesh.

The most obvious question that is raised is the time factor. The new project is supposed to come up in the next 54 months i.e, by the end of 2026. That, is almost a new generation, as far as technology goes into renewable energy. With recent renewable + storage with round the clock power supply (RTC) bids going for as low as Rs 3.60 per unit, it is inexplicable why Adani or the state of Madhya Pradesh went for this scheme. In all probability, storage costs by 2025 itself will drop to a level where this new project, along with most other thermal projects will be the ones pulling power costs higher for consumers in MP and elsewhere. Most importantly, fresh renewable capacity can come up far more quickly than thermal capacity, especially with the recent propose changes that exempt them from environmental clearances too.

While this and many other questions remain unanswered for now, the group has stated in the regulatory filing that it will, along with the AES Corporation, continue to partner to facilitate the delivery of renewables and energy storage in India.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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