File. | Photo: Reuters
Betting big on emerging opportunities amid rising power demand in Mumbai’s fringes, Adani Group aims to invest ₹5,700 crore over five years to expand power distribution in the metropolitan region.
The group will build the entire power grid from the ground up to compete with the state-owned Maharashtra Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) in the newer areas where it seeks to operate.
In an advertisement published in several newspapers in the city on Saturday, Adani Electricity Navi Mumbai (AENM) said it has approached the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) for a distribution license in areas such as Navi Mumbai, Kharghar, Panvel and Thane, along with said parent Adani Transmission.
The Adani group entered power distribution in suburban Mumbai four years ago with the ₹18,000-crore acquisition of Anil Ambani Group-run Reliance Energy. The Adani group is also building the over ₹ 15,000 crore Navi Mumbai International Airport, which is expected to become operational in a few years.
The group, whose assets include the Adani Ports business, is also vying for power distribution to the country’s largest container port JNPT, located near Navi Mumbai, as well as neighboring areas such as Uran, Panvel and the industrial city of Taloha.
The parallel distribution license application filed a few months ago is the first such move by any player under the Electricity Act, 2003. The application was accepted by MERC on Friday after which a public notice was issued.
According to a petition released by the group, it aims to invest ₹5,700 crore over five years to develop the entire infrastructure and will take five years to build universal service capabilities in the target areas.
According to energy sector officials, the companies were left out of the parallel distribution license due to the heavy investment involved in building the entire network.
Given the infrastructure and industrial growth in the target geography, the group expects 8% growth in energy consumption in the area, which stands at 9,700 million units per year currently.
In comparison, the growth of financial capital is only about 3%.
The notification said the Adani group will serve over 5 lakh consumers by the end of five years from the issuance of the licence.
It is a long process to get a power distribution license as it involves public consultation which will eventually lead MERC to take a final opinion.
The public notice said that Adani Transmission holds over 99% stake in Adani Electricity Navi Mumbai, while nominees of the listed company, including Pranav Adani, hold a very minor stake.
Energy veterans Anil Kumar Sardana, Rohit Soni and Mehul Rupera are the directors of AENM.
Adani Electricity has been distributing electricity in Mumbai for over four years and competes with Tata Power in the business. It has not been able to increase its market share in the areas it serves and is looking to increase it.