My notes on power sector – I

August 10, 2007

My notes on the power sector below

The power sector can be divided into the following sub-sectors

a. Generation – This sector has companies such as NTPC, REL, tata power and state generation units
b. Transmission and distribution – Mostly owned by SEB except in a few places such as delhi where it has been privatised
c. Capital good suppliers such as BHEL, ABB, L&T etc
d. Other suppliers like power cable companies, fuel suppliers etc.

Detailed analysis of the sector is provided in the business analysis spreadsheet. I have a new version (Business analysis_working_aug 2007) recently.

A brief analysis of each sub-sector follows


Generation is dominated by companies such as NTPC and State generation utilities. A few private sector players such as REL and Tata power also are important players in the sector.

This sector is characterised by fixed return on capital of around 12-14%. The tariff’s are adjusted in such a way that the company has a fixed return on capital. In addition government companies such as NTPC have had a recievables issue in past due to non-payment of dues by SEB. This was resolved by state government bonds and in the last 2 years this problem seems to be contained. Private sector companies such as reliance do not have a similar issue and have a zero net debt situation

Due to the huge power deficiet in the country, there is current a lot of expansion and new generation capacity being put in place. The XI plan envisages almost 85000 MW of capacity addition. All the generation companies such as NTPC, REL etc have big expansion plans which should result in increase in earnings and good growth. However the sector is characterised by political interference and hence there could be several risks to the expansion plans.

Companies such as REL, NTPC, and Tata power have substantial competitive advantages due to their long term experience in the power sector, financial strength and current backward expansion in fuel sources such as coal, gas exploration and forward integration into transmission, power distribution and power trading.

Most of the companies in this sector sell at around 19-20 times their earnings and seem to be fairly priced. However if government regulation and other obstacles in the power sector are resolved, these companies could see a lot of growth with good return on capital.

Next post : Capital goods suppliers and other suppliers such as power cables


One Response to “My notes on power sector – I”

  1. Andrew Says:


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