(EnergyAsia, September 30 2011, Friday) — India’s GMR said it has agreed to sell a 30% stake in subsidiary GMR Energy Singapore Pte Ltd (GMRE) to Petronas International Corporation Ltd (PICL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia’s state energy company Petronas.

GMRE is investing S$1.2 billion to develop an 800 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant on Jurong Island in Singapore. (US$1=S$1.28). The plant, featuring Siemens’ latest F-class gas turbines, will be designed and constructed by a consortium comprising Germany’s Siemens and South Korea’s Samsung.

Fuelled by re-gassified liquefied natural gas (LNG), the power plant is due to start commercial operations in late 2013. GMR Supply Singapore Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of GMRE, holding an electricity retail licence in Singapore, will manage the electricity retail business.

G. M. Rao, GMR’s group chairman, said this deal with Petronas would pave the way for the two companies to jointly undertake “other possible opportunities” in India as well as internationally.

Anuar Ahmad, Petronas’ executive vice president, Gas and Power Business, said:

“This acquisition marks Petronas Group’s maiden foray into the international power market, and is a major step in its effort to extend its existing integrated presence further along the energy value chain.”

Neither companies disclosed the value of the deal.

Bangalore-headquartered GMR is an infrastructure company with interests in airports, energy, highways and urban infrastructure around the world.

Petronas is the second Malaysian company after YTL Group to purchase a stake in a Singapore power company. In 2009, the privately-owned YTL Group paid S$3.8 billion to acquire the 3,100MW PowerSeraya, Singapore’s second largest power company.

Apart from making a secure profitable investment, the Malaysian companies are also looking to obtain power supplies from Singapore which has surplus capacity.

In May this year, PowerSeraya supplied electricity to Malaysia’s largest power group Tenaga for a month, making it the first cross-border sale of power between the two countries.