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Reliance Power, an Anil Ambani Group firm, has entered an MoU to acquire the entire hydro power portfolio of Jaiprak
NMDC, India’s biggest iron ore producer, aims to ramp up output by two-thirds in five years to 50 million tonne a ye
Reliance Power, an Anil Ambani Group firm, has entered an MoU to acquire the entire hydro power portfolio of Jaiprakash Power Ventures for an estimated Rs 15,000 crore. The announcement comes on the heels of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) backing out of the Rs 10,500-crore deal to buy two hydro plants of debt-laden Jaiprakash Power. Reliance Power will now be executing the deal through its 100 percent subsidiary Reliance CleanGen. Jaiprakash Power is a subsidiary of Jaiprakash Associates. SBI Capital Markets was the advisor for the transaction. The deal, upon completion, will make Reliance Power the largest generator of hydro power in the private sector, with 7,800 MW operating capacity by the end of the 2015 fiscal. The acquisition will help Reliance Power diversify its largely coal-based portfolio. Currently, the company has operational capacity of 4,525 MW, of which, 85 MW comes from a combination of wind and solar power.
The 1,320-Mw Maitree super thermal power project in Bangladesh, being developed by state-owned NTPC through a joint venture, is expected to start electricity generation by December 2018. The plant is to be implemented by Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company (BIFPCL) - an equal joint venture between NTPC and the Bangladesh Power Development Board. It would have two units, each having 660 Mw generation capacity, fired by coal. BIFPCL was incorporated in Bangladesh back in October 2011.
The Falta Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has allowed IT major Infosys to set up a unit in the IT SEZ proposed within Info-valley complex planned in about 500 acres of land on the outskirts of the Bhubaneswar city. The IT behemoth, which is the anchor tenant for the Info-valley project, is authorized to have software development and consultancy/ information technology/ information technology enabled services (ITes) operations. The IT major has informed the state government to start the operation of its centre with an initial head count of 1,000 later this year.
Hyderabad-based GVK Power & Infrastructure is set to commence commercial operations of two of its power projects, which are under execution, during the current financial year. GVKPIL’s step down subsidiaries, the Rs 4,750-crore Alaknanda Hydro Power Company (AHPC) and Rs 4,000 crore GVK Power (Goindwal Sahib) will start power generation this year. Though the 330 Mw AHPC project on river Alaknanda in Uttarakhand had to start operations during mid 2013, the unprecedented natural calamity that occurred in the state during June last year delayed operations. Incessant rains and resultant floods had breached the dyke in front of the power house submerging the already erected Units I, II and III that were ready for commissioning with a huge deposit of silt.
Truck maker Ashok Leyland has lined up a series of product launches, including a low-floor bus and a variant of a small truck. The company had orders for 1,600 low-floor buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The company had also filed four patents for its JANBUS, which would be launched in Kolkata. The company’s Neptune engine for multi-axle trucks that offered improved fuel performance would be rolled out in the next four months. Ashok Leyland was focussing on other businesses like buses, small trucks, power solutions, spare parts and defence. Exports to the Middle East and Bangladesh are doing well. The company has a large order from the Sri Lankan government.
Cairn India has sought partner Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGCs) nod for extension of the licence of their prolific Rajasthan oil block beyond the contractual deadline of 2020. Cairn’s contractual term for exploring and producing oil and gas from the Rajasthan Block RJ-ON-90/2 expires in 2020 and the area is to return to the block licensee, ONGC. The Anil Agarwal-group company, which wants the term of the block extended by a minimum 10 years, has formally written to ONGC on the issue. ONGC, which currently holds 30 percent stake in the block, has told the oil ministry that the production sharing contract (PSC) can be extended beyond 2020 if all parties to the contract agree on mutually agreeable terms. The state-owned firm will now decide on terms on which it can agree on allowing Cairn to continue to operate the fields.
Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) arm - Hyderabad Metro rail project has created a construction record with the erection of the 1.000th viaduct span and completion of 27 Km of metro viaduct in just 20 months. The first span was erected in December 2012, the 1,000th span was erected on July 27, 2014. This marks completion of 38 percent of the viaduct works (out of a total of 2,665 spans required for 72 km) so far. Mumbai took about seven years to complete 11 km of Metro viaduct, Bangalore and Chennai took over 5 years to complete about 25 km of viaduct each; and Delhi took more than 3 years to achieve the same. As on date 1,473 foundations (56 percent), 1,370 pillars (52 percent) are completed. The Government facilitated setting up of India’s two biggest precast yards, one at Uppal in 70 acres and another one at Qutubullahpur in 62 acres.
Following the footsteps of some of its global peers, India's third largest information technology (IT) services company, Wipro, has set up a venture capital (VC) fund that will look at investing in early-to-middle stage technology start-ups globally. The company has set aside an initial corpus of $100 million (around Rs 600 crore) for the fund which has started exploring investment opportunities in start-up companies which focus on niche technologies such as data, open source and industrial internet, among others. Additionally, Wipro will hire 7,000 people over the next five years for its SEZ facility at Visakhapatnam, besides expanding its operations to Vijayawada, Kakinada and Tirupati. The company will develop five lakh square feet of space on a 3.1-acre plot it got from the Government in the next five years. Wipro also sought 50 acres of land in Hindupur (Antantpur district) to set up a facility to manufacture soaps and fatty acids near the town with an investment of Rs 500 crore.
The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) is unlikely to approve budget carrier SpiceJet’s proposal to offer restricted non-changeable, non-refundable fares, saleable at any time for domestic travel. The airline had in its proposal to the government argued issue of such tickets would help improve occupancy and allow them to discount by half even last-minute or spot fares. However, SpiceJet would have to refund to passengers the charges levied in an air ticket by the government and airport operators in the event of cancellations. Burdened by record losses in the last financial year, SpiceJet has been looking at various ways to cut costs and raise money. The airline has launched a series of discount offers since January this year.
With already 300 plus schools of the total over 800 in Gujarat adopting Educomp Solutions’ SmartClass solutions, the education solutions provider is bullish about its latest SmartSchool solutions. The company is anticipating over 40 percent rate of adoption among schools for technology-enabled education content and solutions in the state. Educomp Solutions launched its Educomp SmartSchool (ESS) solutions that offers not only content for classrooms, but also collaborative tools and language labs for overall better management of schools. The ESS offers five products including SmartClass, English Mentor, skill based test EduInsight, Educomp Online and Educomp 3D Lab. Out of the 70-odd schools in Ahmedabad that have so far adopted Educomp SmartClass, already four schools have opted for ESS too.
NMDC, India’s biggest iron ore producer, aims to ramp up output by two-thirds in five years to 50 million tonne a year, helped by the launch of new mining facilities and expansion of existing infrastructure. NMDC’s plans will add to surging global growth in output of the steelmaking raw material, although a push by the new government to revive manufacturing and industrial growth may boost domestic appetite for iron ore. NMDC, which produced close to 30 million tonne of iron ore in the year that ended in March, or close to a fifth of the country’s production, aims to mine about 32 million tonne this year and reach its target by 2018/19. The state-owned firm is currently enhancing output at its three existing mines in Chhattisgarh and Karnataka and is in the process of securing leases for mines in Jharkhand. It has also gained from curbs on illegal mining in Goa and Karnataka states plus the closure in May of nearly half the mines in Odisha, the top producing state, ordered by the Supreme Court while leases dating back years were renewed.
Tata Power has recorded a 24 percent rise in generation at 45,210 mu (million units) collectively from all its power plants in 2013- 2014, as against 34,683 mu in the previous fiscal. The total power generation capacity of Tata Power is 8,613 MW from various fuel sources such as thermal, hydroelectric power, renewable energy and waste heat recovery. Tata Power has a total operating capacity of 461 MW in wind farms, 54 MW in solar, 447 MW in hydro and 240 MW in waste gas-based generation. The company is in the process of executing a number of power projects and aim to generate 18,000 MW by 2022 as well as additional 4,000 MW of management of distribution networks.
Power utility major BHEL has firmed up renewed plans for a big presence in renewable energy, especially solar energy. It wants to play a significant role in establishing ultra mega solar photovoltaic plants of 1000 MW each. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had unveiled plans to create 4000 MW of solar power by setting up 4x1000 MW solar units on the lines of thermal ultra mega power projects. The average per MW cost of solar energy is upwards of Rs 7.5 crore. BHEL, along with Hindustan Salts, Power Grid Corporation, Solar Energy Corporation and Sutlej Jal Vidyug Nigam are forming a consortium to take up this challenge. The initial plants are expected to come up in Gujarat and Rajasthan, where Hindustan Salts owns a considerable land bank. Another major initiative that BHEL is trying to accelerate is the setting up of the 500 MW capacity plant to produce silicon wafers. The project entails an investment of around Rs 2,700 crore. BHEL is hoping to get up to 40 percent project funding from the National Clean Energy Fund.
Jet Airways, the country’s no 2 airline by market share will look at selling planes and restructuring its debts as it tries to find ways to end the losses that have plagued it for years. Jet, which has not reported an annual profit since 2007, set out a three-year restructuring plan in May centred on cutting costs and boosting efficiency. As the carrier struggles to turn around its fortunes, it also named Cramer Ball as its fourth chief executive within the space of a year, pending regulatory approvals. The carrier would also expand its international operations, which are currently profitable, to 63% of its business by 2016 from 45% today. It will look to operate non-stop flights to Europe, China and Australia. The company will also roll out new non-stop flights to Middle East, Saarc countries and the south East Asia.
After establishing itself as an independent company earlier this year, L&T Technology Services, a fully-owned subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro (L&T), is set to explore inorganic growth. Late last month, the Mumbai-headquartered company took a controlling stake in Thales Software India, a Chennai-based captive software arm of Thales, the French defence major. It has now set its sights on acquisitions in client countries. The company is looking at strengthening its presence abroad by acquiring companies with niche engineering skills, aiming to establish a local face. While the acquisition of Thales Software India is expected to strengthen the company’s avionics business, the new joint venture will now be able to participate in offset opportunities with L&T as the Indian partner. Under the offset clause, defence suppliers are required to re-invest a certain percentage of overall procurement costs in India.
In a bid to revive its home textiles business, GHCL is launching innovative made-ups such as performance sheets and Celliant sheets. The various innovative products offer benefits such as wrinkle free properties, medical properties that supplies energy back to body when asleep and properties that make sheets softer after each wash. Among the various types of performance sheets that the company is launching include the likes of reversible sheet with different colours and prints that consumers can use from both sides; sheets that are free from skin cancer causing formaldehyde as well as sheets under the brand name of Celliant that contain mineral particles embedded to the core of the fibers which recycles body energy by storing heat coming out of human body and supplying this energy back to body which helps in recovering process while you sleep. The other innovative products include Micro Twill, made out of 100 per cent cotton, that get softer wash after wash without loosing physical properties of fabric as well as Easy Sheet & Perfect Fit Sheets that reduce duration of the bed making process.
Home-grown auto maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has opened an all-in-one dealership in Dahod district of Gujarat that will focus on vehicles sales, service and spares supply in the entire region, as part of the strategy to expand its retail presence across Western region. Spread over 50,000 square feet area, Amber Automobile will sell the full range of Mahindra vehicles both in the personal and commercial segment. With our coverage reaching across 80 percent of India, Mahindra vehicles can now be serviced even in the remotest part of the country, be it Kargil in extreme North or Port Blair in the Bay of Bengal or Aizwal in the North East to name a few.
McLeod Russel India is in discussion with multiple consultants for a possible diversification in the periphery of tea and agri business. The company is expected to gather the responses from consultants in another three months’ period. The plan to look for new avenues of growth is also being seen as a move to hedge against volatile weather and rain deficiency. The company has also taken up irrigation and water conservation projects in its gardens in Assam. Among the possible new business avenues, branded packaged tea is seen as one of the probable areas where the company could make a foray. Meanwhile, the company reported net loss of Rs 32 crore as against Rs 26.21 crore. Net sales for the quarter under review stood at Rs 99.38 crore compared to Rs 174.45 crore, dip of over 43 percent.
In a bid to de-risk its business from the vagaries of the capital market cycle and dependence on the domestic market, Pune-based Thermax will be increasing its focus on its international business. The energy and environment solutions provider already has significant exports of Rs 1000 crore, but going ahead, the company will be looking at setting up independent subsidiaries in other geographies. At present, the domestic market contributes about 70% to the company’s turnover and the aim is to gradually bring it down to 50% over the next seven-ten years. If required, the company would localize its offerings depending on the demands of the local market. The domestic business for Thermax has seen a few difficult quarters and the company stated that it would be another 8-12 months before things would change.
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