India Intelligence Report

Energy Deficit India Sparks Mega Projects 


Energy deficiency in India is seeing large investments in mega projects in refinery, pipeline installations, new power generation projects, power line grid deployment, and even private sector nuclear plants. Many companies recently announced plans to create new projects specifically targeting energy and power-generation. Striving for growth, the world consumes 81.8 million barrels of oil a day, which is expected to reach 105 million barrels by 2020. Many industrial houses in India are seeing this as an opportunity to corner this space, since current installed capacities not being increased correspondingly by Western nations.

Reliance group announced plans to create a new 580,000 barrels augmenting its existing capacity of 660,000 barrels at Jamnagar, Gujarat making it the largest refinery in the world. The project is expected to cost about USD 5 billion, which will be mostly through debt and equity. With access to shipping and proximity to the Gulf, Jamnagar is also developing into the refinery hub of India. 


Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) is setting up a joint venture with 5 major companies to lay a 5,000 kilometer power grid line at a cost of over USD 1 billion. The other companies in this joint venture are Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Essar Power, Torrent Power, Jaiprakash Group, and Teesta Urja Limited. 

ONGC’s new 750 megawatt (MW) plant in Tripura, Essar’s and Torrent’s new 1500 MW and 100 MW gas-fired plants respectively in Gujarat, Jaiprakash’s existing 1000 MW project in Karcham Wangtoo in Himachal Pradesh, and Teesta’s existing power plant in Sikkim will use this grid to carry their power. The PGCIL will hold 24% of equity in this joint venture and the balance held by its partners. Tata Power Company may also join this grid from June to transport power from its 1050 MW hydroelectric power in Bhutan. 

The Government is planning to first obtain Cabinet clearance followed by an amendment in the Atomic Energy Act to allow domestic and foreign private nuclear power facilities as soon the US completes clearance processes in the US Congress. The Government may take control of spent fuel if the originating countries do not take back the nuclear waste. Leading Indian power companies such as Reliance Energy, Tata Power, and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) have signed up to invest in this area. 

Coal Minister Shibu Soren, known for his internationally televised evasion of arrest, after regaining his Ministry has introduced a controversial plan that would require core sector companies in power, iron and steel, and cement companies would have to bid competitively to gain captive access to coal mines. While there is fear that this may escalate the cost of power generation, Soren says that the bidding process will ensure that the cost of coal will be contained to be under the average price of Rs. 400 per ton. The plan is ostensibly to try extracting extra revenue for the Government, but many fear that it may be to extract political bribes.

Meanwhile, the USD 7 billion Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project crystallized more with Iran offering natural gas at USD 6 per million British thermal units (mbtu). While the 2,600-kilometer pipeline project itself not cleared, this is significant development as it shows that Iran is still planning to pursue this project despite India’s stand against its nuclear program.