CESC arm is highest bidder for Chandigarh discom

By: |
August 06, 2021 6:30 AM

Though the company did not disclose the financial details, sources said that Eminent quoted Rs 871 crore, outbidding the Rs 606-crore offer of Torrent Power, Rs 563 crore by NTPC, Rs 551 by ReNew Power, Rs 471 crore by Adani Group, Rs 426 crore by Tata Power and Rs 201 crore quoted by Sterlite Power.

The UT administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (DNHDD) have also invited bids for the same.The UT administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (DNHDD) have also invited bids for the same.

Private power distribution utility CESC’s wholly-owned arm Eminent Electricity Distribution has emerged as the highest bidder for acquiring 100% stake in discom for the Union Territory (UT) of Chandigarh. Though the company did not disclose the financial details, sources said that Eminent quoted Rs 871 crore, outbidding the Rs 606-crore offer of Torrent Power, Rs 563 crore by NTPC, Rs 551 by ReNew Power, Rs 471 crore by Adani Group, Rs 426 crore by Tata Power and Rs 201 crore quoted by Sterlite Power.

“The above acquisition for distribution licence is subject to further formalities as prescribed under the tender documents including receipt of letter of intent,” CESC’s stock exchange filing added. CESC supplies electricity in its distribution circle spanning across 567 sq kms in Kolkata, and also runs licensed power distribution business in Noida. The RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group company has distribution franchisees in Kota, Bharatpur, Bikaner and Malegaon as well.

The Centre had announced in May 2020 that power departments and distribution utilities in UTs will be privatised, and Chandigarh was first UT to issue notice inviting bids for the same. The UT administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (DNHDD) have also invited bids for the same.

Owing to low levels of aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses — an indicator of pilferage — discoms that have floated tenders are seen to the “lowest hanging fruit” among all the UTs. Chandigarh consumes around 1,600 million units (MU) in a year and more than 50% of the demand comes from industrial and commercial consumers, significantly reducing concerns about timely receipt of subsidies from the government. The tendering of Chandigarh discom was disrupted by worker protests, and the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in December had put in abeyance the privatisation process. However, the Supreme Court had stayed the High Court’s order, and the apex court in February had asked the High Court of Punjab and Haryana to expeditiously come to a final decision regarding discom privatisation.

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