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GAIL to bid for solar foray with 400 MW capacity – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Gas utility GAIL will bid for 400 MW solar power capacity being auctioned by SECI (formerly Solar Energy Corporation of India), making it the latest state-run oil and gas company to bet big on renewable energy for a low-carbon future.
“GAIL will bid for three projects aggregating 400 MW capacity being auctioned by SECI in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh,” company chairman Manoj Jain told TOI on Wednesday.
On proposed outlay for renewables, Jain said funds “are not a problem for GAIL as we practically have no debt.
“We had won the bid for Rs 4,800 MW operational wind power projects of ILFS in 2019. But ILFS’ other partner used the first right of refusal. Otherwise, it would have made a good renewable portfolio,” he said. GAIL has a debt-equity ratio of 1:0.14 and total debt of Rs 5,990 crore.
GAIL had in March 2019 tied up with state-run power gear maker BHEL for renewables foray. Both companies have left the arrangement open on the choice of equipment for projects.
“BHEL’s solar equipment has a quality advantage. But in some cases, imports could make more sense. It is for BHEL to take the lead in such issues,” he said.
The tie-up was aimed at leveraging the competitive strengths of both companies. GAIL will be the project developer and BHEL will be the project manager and EPC (engineering, procurement contractor) contractor.
GAIL has been a laggard among its peers in renewables investment. The company had in January 2018 commissioned a 5 MW rooftop solar power plant, India’s second-largest, atop two warehouses at Pata petrochemicals complex in UP.
Separately, the company posted a profit of Rs 1,908 crore for the January-March quarter, down 36% from Rs 3,018 crore a year ago. Sequentially, however, profit was up 28% from the third quarter.
On a year-on-year basis, the company clocked a net profit of Rs 4,890 crore for 2020-21, roughly 26% down from Rs 6,620 crore in 2019-20. The revenue for the full fiscal year stood at Rs 56,737 crore compared to Rs 73,293 crore in the previous financial year.

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