OPG Power Ventures PLC says to resume dividend, unveil ESG initiatives as electricity demand in India recovers
“Based on the performance in the first nine months of FY21 we expect to meet the market expectations for our FY21 results”
The coal-fired power station owner also said it will unveil a series of ESG in initiatives alongside its full-year results as criticism of the use of thermal power mounts.
These plans will gradually reduce and offset carbon emissions from its Chennai plant, the group added, in recognition that a comprehensive decarbonisation strategy is critical for the company.
Various options under consideration include an increase in its renewable energy assets base and joint ventures to roll out energy transition technologies alongside possible participation in an innovative blockchain-based carbon credits platform.
Electricity generated from its coal-fired plant in Chennai dropped to 1.47bn units (2.09bn) in the nine months to end December 2020, OPG said, as businesses used less power due to COVID-19 disruption.
The load factor (PLF) over the period was 54% (77% a year earlier), though PLF bounced back to 71% in December.
Tariffs received eased slightly to rupee (Rs) 5.52 per unit from Rs 5.67 on average a year earlier but OPG said coal prices, its principal input cost, had also fallen to £40.6 per tonne from £47.9.
Net debt fell to £18.9mln from £53.4mln in March 2020 with the remainder of loans on the Chennai plant scheduled to be paid by off in 2024, OPG said.
In a statement, Arvind Gupta, the chairman, commented: “Despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, OPG delivered very strong cash generation during the reporting period and has also continued its strategy of deleveraging the business.
“Based on the performance in the first nine months of FY21 we expect to meet the market expectations for our FY21 results and to provide returns to our shareholders by resuming dividends based on FY21 results.”
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