Lenders put Coastal Energen plant with Rs 7k-cr debt on sale

State Bank of India (SBI) led consortium has put on sale a 1,200-megawatt (MW) thermal power plant in Tamil Nadu

A consortium of lenders led by State Bank of India (SBI) has put on sale a 1,200-megawatt (MW) thermal power plant in Tamil Nadu set up by Coastal Energen, according to a bid document.
The outstanding term debt to the plant, as on December 30, 2016, was Rs 6,132.14 crore and the working-capital outstanding, as on March 31, 2017, was Rs 831.53 crore.

This is the second thermal power plant put up for sale by an SBI-led consortium in June. Earlier this month, it had sought bidders for SKS Power’s 600-MW plant in Chhattisgarh.

SBI Capital Markets (SBI Caps) has been appointed by SBI on behalf of the consortium to invite proposals through a bidding process and identify an investor for acquisition of a 51% share in the company, which is currently held by lenders, subsequent to the conversion of debt into equity.

The debt to the project had undergone recast under the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) strategic debt restructuring (SDR) scheme on May 16, 2017. “The company has been facing challenges due to non-availability of power purchase agreements (PPAs) at remunerative tariffs and consequently, not been able to perform its debt servicing obligations,” the document said.

The other lenders to the project include Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank.

With the withdrawal of all of the RBI’s restructuring schemes through a circular dated February 12, banks are now looking at other ways of resolving stressed assets in order to avoid driving them to the insolvency courts.

An email seeking a response from Coastal Energen remained unanswered till the time of going to press.

The Tuticorin plant operates on coal imported from open market sources and the total coal requirement of the project is 5.28 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), considering a calorific value of 4,070 kcal/kg. For power evacuation, the company has entered into a long-term open access arrangement for a capacity of 1100 MW with Power Grid Corporation for a period of 25 years from the commercial operation date.

The bid document said that Unit 1 of the project achieved commissioning in December, 2014 and unit 2 of the project was commissioned in January, 2016. While 558 MW of net power generated from unit 1 has been tied up with Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) at a levelised tariff of `4.69/kWh for 15 years ending September 30, 2028. At present, unit 2 of the project does not have any long-term PPAs.

Stressed assets in the power sector have been a cause for concern for banks after a chunk of troubled assets in the steel sector — the other significant source of stress —took the Insolvency and Bankruptcy (IBC) route to resolution. A lack of PPAs and other structural issues has led to many power projects defaulting on loan repayment obligations.

Banks are currently working on a plan to resolve `70,000 crore worth of non-performing assets (NPAs) in the power sector through operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts. The mode of resolution for power assets will involve determining the “sustainable debt” levels of completed plants with existing power purchase agreements (PPAs) and coal supply arrangements.

Source: Financial Express