Reviving its 240 MW Hydro Power Project in HP


Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Energy is reviving an old hydropower project plan and is scouting for acquisitions. The company has warned that the sector needs immediate attention as problems have crippled new projects.

JSW Energy is hoping to revive a 240-MW project it had planned in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh in 2007, which had to be put on the backburner as there were no buyers for electricity then. It now aims to build with an investment of Rs. 2,500 crore, in the hope of signing a power purchase agreement soon.

“We want the government to ask banks to finance hydropower projects because they are not very keen. Even the loan tenure needs to be changed to match the long gestation period of these projects. Also, the recognition of depreciation needs changes as it will make the projects more competitive.”

Sharad Mahendra, Chief Operating Officer, Energy Business at JSW Energy

India’s hydropower generation capacity is around 45 gigawatts, accounting for only 13% of the country’s total generation capacity. Of this, the private sector’s share is only 3.2 gigawatts. The country has an estimated potential of 85 gigawatts at 60% plant load factor, but the development of the sector has been slow due to policy issues, slow approvals, lack of financing options and inconsistencies between the state and centre since it is a concurrent subject.