NHPC Limited (erstwhile National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) is looking at the road construction sector in India and abroad as a new business opportunity. This is part of the public sector unit’s (PSU) diversification strategy, said Balraj Joshi, chairman and managing director, NHPC.
The state run NHPC Limited is considering this move on the backdrop of the revival of the highway sector as well as on its learnings from the work done under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) roads in Bihar. The firm has constructed around 3209 km of roads in Bihar as part of a 3229 km road development project. The project was awarded on a turn-key basis under the marquee scheme, entailing an investment of Rs 1725.65 crore.
Given that hydropower projects are located in far-flung areas, the PSU has been constructing roads in remote locations for its own usage. Also, in comparison to a road project, executing a hydropower project is time-consuming and tedious, said Joshi.
NHPC also plans to concentrate on hydropower generation in the country by moving towards pump-storage systems. The firm has been appointed as an electricity aggregator by the government wherein it will be procuring 2500 MW for three years. NHPC , currently, has a generation capacity of 7071.2 megawatts (MW) and plans to boost capacity to 10 GW by 2022.
Hydropower is seen as an important source of energy to meet India’s mounting needs but—at 45.4 gigawatts (GW)—it makes up only 13% of the nation’s installed power generation capacity of 349 GW.