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‘India Has Large Scope for Power Capacity Addition’

According to reports, the state-owned NTPC is not just one of India’s ‘Maharatna’ companies, it is also the largest power producer in the country with an installed capacity of 42,964 MW aided by 17 coal-based, seven gas-based, three solar renewable and seven joint venture power stations contributing 28 per cent of the country’s energy requirements. In an interview with Samiran Saha, chairman-cum-managing director Dr Arup Roy Choudhury speaks on the state of the Indian power sector and NTPC’s role in improving it. Excerpts:

Do you think the Indian power sector is not in the best of health?

This enormous power deficit in the country, if tackled in a planned manner, will translate into huge potential for the growth of the power sector, which will automatically give a big boost to the national economy. In terms of consumption patterns, India ranks amongst the lowest in the world. The per capita consumption of power in India has increased from 631 units in financial year 2005-06 to 917 units in financial year 2012-13 as per CEA. This is much less than the electricity consumption in the developed countries of the world and leaves India with an enormous scope of capacity addition.

What are NTPC’S capacity addition targets for the short and medium term?

In the 12th plan, we envisage to add 14,038 MW capacity of which 5170 MW has already been commissioned. The balance capacity is in advanced stages of construction. In the long- term; by 2032; NTPC plans to become a 1,28,000 MW company in terms of installed capacity, with 28 per cent coming from non-fossil fuel sources such as renewable, hydro and nuclear. NTPC has been able to achieve its highest ever capacity addition for the third consecutive year. During the financial year 2012-13, 4170 MW was added against 2820 MW in financial year 2011-12 and 2490 MW in financial year 2010-11.

NTPC received a thumping response from investors for its Rs.1,750-crore bond issue? Could you give    details about it?

The bond issue was oversubscribed by an unprecedented 3.3 times on day one itself. As against Rs.1,000 crore, we collected about Rs.3,310 crore which is Rs.2,310 crore above the base size. The Qualified Institutional Bidder (QIB) oversubscribed by 4.2 times, garnering Rs.423 crore against allocation of Rs.100 crore. Corporates reposed their overwhelming faith in NTPC by contributing Rs.1,374 crore against allocation of Rs.250 crore. High Networth Individuals (HNI) also chipped in with Rs.851 crore against allocation of Rs.250 crore. The bond issue received tremendous response even in the retail category, which has never seen in any other tax-free bond issue before.

Your book ‘Management by Idiots’ has been well received and has gone for second reprint. A synopsis?

It a small book consisting of 20 chapters in 116 pages,  intended to be light read without structured references. Written for today’s reader, who is hard-pressed for time, the book is dotted with thoughts and references from Indian philosophy with striking illustrations. I have shared my experiences that have helped me grow as an individual and as a professional, with insights acquired during three and a half decades of my professional work life.

What is the secret of NTPC’s success ?

Strong systems with focus on compliance, target orientation, commitment of people , talent and expertise available in the company and looking at global best practices abroad are among the factors behind NTPC’s sustained success.

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