Macquarie, NTPC in race to buy IL&FS assets

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Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets and state-owned power generator NTPC are among companies interested in buying some of the renewable energy assets of debt laden Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd, according to Bloomberg.

State owned natural gas company GAIL India and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) are also said to have submitted expression of interest to buy the assets.

IL&FS owns wind power plants with a capacity of 873.5 MW. Besides, it has units that are under construction with a proposed capacity of 104 MW. It also has under-construction solar power projects with capacity of 300 MW.

The asset sales are key to reviving IL&FS, which had total debt of $12.6 billion (Rs 883.33 billion) as of March 31. The company has been defaulting on loans and bonds since August.

Notably, GAIL is seeking foray into solar power plants and battery charging stations. Last year, in August, it sought shareholders’ nod to amend the charter of the company to invest in start-ups, build solar power plants and set up battery charging stations for electric vehicles as it looks to diversify its portfolio beyond gas and petrochemicals.

With the government planning to make a major shift to electric vehicles by 2030, GAIL feels that its pan-India presence through the natural gas network is deep-pocketed and has the capability of setting up charging infrastructure at a faster pace.

GAIL also wants to harness solar power potential available at its various sites and installations which can be connected to grid for sale or for own use at other installations through wheeling of power.