CESC to foray into solar power generation

Kolkata, July 23 (IANS) Power utility CESC Ltd is expanding into solar power generation with an investment plan of Rs.2,000 crore over the next five years, company vice chairman Sanjeev Goenka said here Friday.

‘We will invest Rs.2,000 crore over the next five years in solar power. We have already acquired 200 acres in a village near Bikaner in Rajasthan and plan to acquire another 800 acres across the country,’ Goenka told reporters on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the company.

He said work for solar power generation would start in two to three months.

After acquiring 1,000 acres following the thumb rule, production would be in the range of 1,000 MW.

The company has dropped its plan to divest 20 percent stake to private equity firms in its loss-making retail arm, Spencer’s Retail, Goenka said.

Earlier the company had plans of raising funds by selling 20 percent stake in the retail arm.

Spencer’s is all set for a major expansion of its store area in 2010-11 with a target to add 200,000 square feet to its current retail space of 900,000 square feet, Goenka said.

It would add another 10 stores in 2010.

‘Spencer’s has started making profit on the store level since June and we expect to post profit at the net level within the next 18 months,’ Goenka said.

Spencer’s currently has about 215 stores across the country.

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