ArcelorMittal offers Rs 4,800 crore for Essar’s Mahan power project in MP

ArcelorMittal offers Rs 4,800 crore for Essar’s Mahan power project in MP

ArcelorMittal has offered lenders Rs 4,800 crore for Essar’s 2×600 MW Mahan thermal power project in Madhya Pradesh, surpassing the Essar promoters’ one-time settlement offer of Rs 3,500 crore, a senior PFC official told FE.

Rajeev Sharma, chairman and managing director of PFC, which is one of the consortium lenders to Essar Power’s MP project, told FE, “We are in process of evaluating the offer. We will offer promoters the first right of refusal, if they will match or exceed the offer, we will select the highest offer. As a transparent mechanism to choose the bidder we will open the window for a day and the highest bidder will be chosen under the reverse auction process. We are hopeful of closing the deal in the next 2-3 months.”

In September 2018, ICICI Bank, the lead lender for the Essar Power’s Mahan project, moved the NCLT seeking initiation of insolvency proceedings against Essar Power MP. However, after the apex court’s order maintaining a status quo on relief to power companies from the February 12 RBI circular, lenders have decided to resolve the issue outside the NCLT.

Essar Power MP owes the consortium of lenders around rs 5,300 crore. Essar owes PFC Rs 1,345 crore as of date.

Apart from the Mahan project, PFC is in an advance stage of resolving around seven stressed assets totalling around Rs 10,234 crore in debt value terms. The company hopes to resolve them in next four to five months.

Some of these projects — Dans Energy and Shiga Energy’s two hydel power projects in Sikkim and Essar Power Transmission’s project — have offered 100% principal recovery of around Rs 1,400 crore to PFC. “We are negotiating a better deal with them. Currently, 16% provisioning is available for these project, and if settled, it will lead to reversal of this provision too,” Sharma said.

GVK Ratle, the 850-MW hydro power project in J&K, owes PFC around Rs 811 crore as of date.

However, the company has been servicing the loan regularly for the last 11 months. So, the asset is expected to be upgraded to ‘standard asset’ from the non-performing category in the coming quarter along with provision reversal of Rs 600 crore, Sharma said.

The two phases of RKM Powergen totalling around 1,240 MW have also tied up 90% of PPA under the pilot scheme of government as well as few positive development with the Chhattisgarh government, which is likely to improve the valuation of the projects.

Few other projects like the Jhabua power project, 1,370 MW Rattan India’s, Amravati project and GMR’s 1,350 MW Chattisgarh project are also in fairly advance stages of resolution, Sharma added.

There are more than 18,000 MW of stressed power projects in the NCLT at present. These projects were identified on the basis of their inability to service loans due to various operational factors, like lack of PPAs or fuel linkages.