Energy firms not facing any challenge to secure funding, India may get $75 bn investment in gas infra: Dharmendra Pradhan

Recently, Andhra Pradesh has asked state-run power giant NTPC and Solar Energy Corporation of India for lowering the tariff of power supplied from some solar projects.

Press Trust of India August 02, 2019 18:28:53 IST
Energy firms not facing any challenge to secure funding, India may get $75 bn investment in gas infra: Dharmendra Pradhan
  • Many companies have successfully raised funding through overseas bond market, said Pradhan

  • India is expected to get investments of over $75 billion in gas infrastructure in the next eight years

  • CEA has projected 65% electricity generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030

New Delhi: Indian energy companies are not facing any challenge in securing finances especially from overseas markets, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday.

The statement assumes significance as there are reports that some sovereign funds, including Norway's State Pension Fund, have decided not to invest or finance fossil fuel-based projects and businesses.

"There is no challenge... I have mentioned in the speech that pension funds and others are keen (to invest)," the oil minister said at the BNEF Summit here. He was replying to a query that whether Indian energy firms are facing challenges in getting funding particularly from overseas markets.

"India's growing energy sector is attractive to foreign investors. It has repeatedly received funding from sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, long-term strategic investors from western countries, Asian countries and the Middle East," the minister said.

Energy firms not facing any challenge to secure funding India may get 75 bn investment in gas infra Dharmendra Pradhan

Representational image. Reuters.

Pradhan further said, "The economy is projected to grow at more than 7 percent, which will attract more funding. Many companies have successfully raised funding through overseas bond market and this funding route is likely to grow many fold going forward."

India is expected to get investments of over $75 billion in gas infrastructure in the next eight years, the minister said, adding that Indian refineries have invested over Rs 30,000 crore for upgrading to BS-VI quality fuel production.

India will become $3 trillion economy this year and aims to achieve a $5 trillion target in the near future, the oil minister said.

To achieve this target, Pradhan said, India needs secure, affordable and sustainable energy to sustain high growth and energy access to 1.3 billion people. It is important to tap every source of energy, he added.

About incidents of states backing out on concluded power purchase agreements and demanded for renegotiation of tariff (lowering that), the minister said, "We are mindful of the difficulties being faced by investors in some instances where the state government is trying to renegotiate some of the executed contracts."

Recently, Andhra Pradesh has asked state-run power giant NTPC and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for lowering the tariff of power supplied from some solar projects.

Pradhan said, "Our government has requested state governments to reconsider their decision, as this will jeopardise future investment in not only the concerned state but also the country as a whole."

About renewables, the minister said, "This is the right time to think of sale options like blending electricity generated from gas power plants with renewable energy. This will further aid the process of emission reduction."

He was of the view that this option has the merits of balancing the grid and optimum utilisation of the transmission infrastructure by complementing the uncertain nature of renewable energy generation with gas-based power, which will also aid in optimum utilisation of our gas power plants.

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has projected 65 percent electricity generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

The minister also informed that hydrogen will be infused into compressed natural gas in Delhi by December, which would be even more cleaner fuel.

The minister was talking about H-CNG (hydrogen infused compressed natural gas) which would not only reduce pollution compared to CNG but also increase the efficiency of vehicles.

He also told that at the end of eight years, 40 million households will be connected with PNG (piped natural gas) compared to 2.5 million in 2014.

Further, Pradhan said, "We are studying the challenges facing the take-off of the bio-diesel programme, and I am confident that we will soon be rolling out initiatives to enable achievement of 5 per cent bio-diesel blended diesel across country."

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