(EnergyAsia, May 31) — India’s construction firms are increasingly leveraging on build-operate-transfer (BOT) opportunities in the hydroelectric power generation sector.


Construction companies like Jaiprakash, Gammon and Nagarjuna Construction, have taken up hydropower projects on a BOT basis. Two such BOT projects are already operational, with more set to follow.


New Delhi-based Jaiprakash Associates has developed a 300-megawatt (MW) hydropower project on the Baspa river in Himachal Pradesh state through subsidiary Jaiprakash Hydel Power. Jaiprakash is also working on two more projects – a 400 MW project at Vishnu Prayag in Uttaranchal which will become operational this year, and a 1,000 MW project in Himachal Pradesh.


Another 82 MW hydro power project has been developed by LNJ Bhilwara Group, also in Himachal Pradesh state at a cost of Rs3.2 billion (US$=Rs45).


Gammon is planning a 60 MW project in Sikkim. The company said it has signed a letter of intent and is conducting a feasibility study on the project. Meanwhile, Nagarjuna has teamed up with, SSJV Projects and Maytas Infrastructure on a 100 MW hydropower project in Himachal Pradesh.


A hydropower project involves high capital costs and a long gestation period – construction can take up to seven years, much longer than a coal or gas-based power. However, once completed, expenses are minimal and earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) margins are excellent.