JSW Energy lines up huge investment in solar, electric vehicle segments


Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Energy, currently going through a sluggish business patch, is lining up large investments in solar and electric vehicles. JSW Energy, which will commission 17 MW of solar capacity by September, plans to set up a facility to make solar photovoltaic (PV) panels with a capacity of 1,000 MW at Vijayanagar, Karnataka, in this financial year.

The facility will come up adjacent to its existing coal power plant site at Vijayanagar, and is also exploring entering the PV cell/wafer manufacturing space. The company is planning to install 200 MW of solar power systems during the 2018-19 period, and has already commissioned two captive solar power systems. The company has also won a new contract from Delhi Golf Club, top officials said at a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday.

The officials said discussions are progressing for partnerships with respect to electric vehicle (EV) platform and storage battery technology. JSW Energy, which plans to launch its own electric vehicle by 2020, had acquired cent percent stake in group company JSW Electric Vehicles Private Limited in March for its proposed foray into electric vehicles, energy storage systems and charging infrastructure. JSW Energy has already brought in Sergio Rocha, an auto industry expert, as COO of EV, passenger vehicles. Rocha was previously employed as President, CEO, and Chairman of General Motors, Korea, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam operations based out of Seoul, South Korea.

The officials said the scope of the EV business has been widened to include select electric commercial vehicle (CV) models, including electric bus and light pick-up trucks. As a result, the proposed capital expenditure has increased to Rs 6,500 crore over the period of next three-four years in the EV and associated businesses of storage battery and charging infrastructure. Out of this, JSW will invest Rs 1,000 crore during the current financial year.

For the quarter, JSW Energy’s total income was Rs 1,879 crore, slightly lower than the Rs 1,935 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The company posted a net loss of Rs 480 crore for the quarter against a profit of Rs 24.76 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The company generated 4,355 million units of power, whereas the same was 4063 million units in the corresponding previous year quarter. The merchant sales during the quarter were 848 million units as compared to 1,312 million units in the corresponding previous year quarter.

JSW Energy said the company has made proactive provisions of Rs 241 crore for its investments in Toshiba JSW JV (to manufacture turbines) and South African operations. These provisions have no impact on the consolidated financials as accumulated losses equal to the impairment amounts have already been provided for in earlier periods.

The consolidated net worth and consolidated net debt as at March 31, 2018 were Rs 11,110 crore and Rs 11,278 crore, respectively. Net debt was effectively reduced by Rs 3,106 crore in FY18, while average cost of debt sharply reduced from 10.17 per cent in Q4FY17 to 9.03 per cent in Q4FY18.businesstoday