Abu Dhabi state energy firm TAQA is leading a consortium buying two hydropower plants in India for $1.6bn ($616mn cash plus assumed project debt) from India’s Jaypee Group. TAQA has 51% of the consortium; Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board has 39% and Indian private equity firm IDFC Alternatives 10%. The acquisition is expected to close in 2014, subject to regulatory and third party approvals.

The Baspa Stage II and Karcham Wangtoo plants in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh have combined generating capacity of 1.39GW. They were built 2km apart in the Kinnaur district and share support facilities. “They use run-of-the-river technology to convert natural water flow to electricity, eliminating the need for a reservoir. The plants are 35km from the Sorang hydroelectric plant, in which TAQA acquired a stake last year,” TAQA says. The purchase will take TAQA’s gross operational power generation capacity in India to 1.741GW. TAQA’s first project in India was a 250MW lignite-fired power plant and adjoining open-cast mine at Neyveli, in the state of Tamil Nadu. The plant started up in December 2002, delivering electricity to local government utility Tangedco under a 30-year power purchase agreement. TAQA has begun preliminary studies for expanding Neyveli capacity to 500MW. Capacity at Sorang hydro plant is 100MW. (CONTINUED - 282 WORDS)