WHITE HEAT

NTPC LTD | ES­TAB­LISHED IN 1975

India Today - - STATES - —Anilesh S. Ma­ha­jan

CRANK­ING UP THE MA­CHINE

NTPC Ltd is a state-owned mo­nop­oly in elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion with in­stalled ca­pac­ity of 51,671 MW, of the coun­try’s to­tal ca­pac­ity of 330,153 MW. NTPC con­trib­uted 24 per cent of the elec­tric­ity con­sumed in the coun­try in the last fis­cal, 2016-17. A com­pany born out of ne­ces­sity af­ter the food and oil cri­sis of 1973-74, then prime min­is­ter Indira Gandhi set up NTPC as a PSU to gen­er­ate and sup­ply ther­mal-based elec­tric­ity (NHPC was set up for hy­dro projects). Its first tar­get: im­prove project delivery ef­fi­ciency. Power en­ti­ties in the states used to take 60 months to in­stal 200 MW then, which NTPC soon brought down to 48 months or less.

To­day, NTPC is present in all the ver­ti­cals of power gen­er­a­tion—gas, coal, so­lar, wind and hy­dro. The present gov­ern­ment, though, is look­ing to keep the fo­cus on ther­mal-based gen­er­a­tion and big so­lar parks. In Fe­bru­ary 2015, the cabi­net cleared the set­ting up of 15 GW of so­lar ca­pac­ity with a com­mit­ment from NTPC Vidyut Vi­taran Nigam—the power trad­ing arm of NTPC— to buy it. The foray not only al­lows NTPC to re­duce its car­bon foot­print, but the com­pany’s ro­bust bal­ancesheet also low­ers the risk for in­vestors in the new so­lar parks.

THE ROAD AHEAD

NTPC’s goal is to be a 130 GW com­pany (with gen­er­a­tion of 600 bil­lion units of elec­tric­ity) by 2032, with a di­ver­si­fied fuel mix and also be the world’s No. 1 com­pany in terms of power gen­er­a­tion. It’s an ex­tra­or­di­nary sit­u­a­tion when most pri­vate play­ers are look­ing for buy­ers for their projects (NTPC is ag­gres­sively eval­u­at­ing sev­eral of them). Along with this, In­dia is also re­vamp­ing 11 GW of old and retiring power plants, work on which will again be mostly done by NTPC.

SHEKHAR GHOSH

FIRE IT UP NTPC’s Dadri power plant in UP

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