The Blackstone Group will be investing INR 5,000 million (c. USD111 million) in VISA Power Limited (VPL), an independent power producer (IPP) whose core asset is a 1,200 MW captive-mine based, coal fired power plant in Chhattisgarh which is in an advanced stage of development.
VISA Power has a pipeline of a further 6,600 MW under development, including a 1,320 MW coal-based super critical power plant in Orissa, which is also in an advanced stage of development. The Company also proposes to develop power projects in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Gujarat. VISA Power is part of the INR50.0bn (USD1.1bn) VISA Group, which is a minerals, metals and energy conglomerate with business interests in steel, power, mining, international trading, shipping and logistics.
Vishambhar Saran, the Founder and Chairman of the VISA Group, and Chairman of VISA Power, says: “The Power sector in India is going through an exciting phase of growth which is critical to sustain the country’s high levels of economic and industrial growth, and unlock India’s economic potential. We are glad that Blackstone shares our vision. Hopefully, together we can create a leading power company.”
Vikas Agarwal, the Managing Director of VISA Power, says: “We are delighted to partner with Blackstone, one of the world’s foremost private equity investors. Our portfolio of projects in coal rich states, combined with Blackstone’s deep understanding of the power business both globally and in India, and their commitment to sharing knowledge and bringing global best practices to their portfolio companies will add immense value to our young and growing company. Together, we hope to form a long and mutually beneficial partnership.”
Akhil Gupta (pictured), Chairman and Managing Director of Blackstone Advisors India Private Limited, says: “Investing in the development of infrastructure in India has long been a theme of ours at Blackstone. India needs an investment of c.USD200bn in the power sector, of which c.USD50bn is required in equity, if the country is to continue its rapid economic growth.” Gupta also added that: “We believe that VISA Power’s core Chhattisgarh plant with its captive mine will have a very competitive cost of generation, and will be among the better positioned IPPs in the country. In addition, we have been impressed with the track record of VISA’s promoters and its management team in developing and executing greenfield projects.”