Odisha to divest 49% stake in profit-making PSU

by Dikhyaa Mohanty
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The Odisha government has initiated the process to divest 49 per cent stake in Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC), a profit-making PSU that operates 1,740 MW thermal power plant at Banharpalli in Jharsuguda district.

The move comes barely two years after the Odisha government had decided to buyback its 49% share in OPGC from AES Corporation Ltd, an US-based company.

The company which had acquired 49% share in OPGC in 1998 had decided to sell its share in August 2020 for $135 million (around Rs 1,000 crore at that time). Now, the state government owns 100% stake in the thermal power plant.

The Odisha energy department has invited global expression of interest (EOI) for the proposed disinvestment in the PSU though it has not cited any reason behind the move. The amount it will gain following the disinvestment process has also not been clarified by the department.

When contacted, Odisha energy secretary Nikunja Bihari Dhal did not respond to repeated calls from The Indian Express.

“Any government or private entity having sound technical and financial strength can participate to acquire share in OPGC,” said a senior government official requesting anonymity.

The disinvestment will be completed in a two-stage process; the SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAP) has been roped in as transaction adviser for the process.

Established in November 1984, OPGC operates state-of-the-art coal-fired power plant with total four units. While two units of 210 MW each were operational since the last 25 years, two more units of 660 MW each were added in the second phase in 2019. The first two units have coal linkage from the nearby mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, and the remaining two units are sourcing coal from Manoharpur through a subsidiary of OPGC.

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