Delayed by Covid-19 outbreak, the listing process o f power PSUs' joint venture EESL is expected to commence by the end of the current or the start of next fiscal year.
The 'Super-Energy Service Company' which was setup as a JV between power PSUs including NTPC, PFC, REC and PowerGrid amongst others, enables consumers, industries and governments to effectively manage their energy needs through energy efficient technologies.
Accordingly, the company's IPO plan worth Rs 5,000 crore is still on the table, EESL's Managing Director Saurabh Kumar told IANS.
"Company still has plans of getting listed but because of the current scenario (Covid-19) and the impact it has had on the market, we will revisit this once the situation normalises," Kumar told IANS.
"It can happen at the end of this financial year or in the beginning of the next (fiscal). But the plan is certainly on the table. The valuation of the IPO is still pegged at Rs 5,000 crore."
In terms of funding the company's capital expenditure during the current fiscal, Kumar said: "We estimate our CAPEX at Rs 5,000 crore out of which Rs 1,000 crore of equity will be required."
"We have already requested our promoters to provide some and also, we have created a SPV for smart meters. Out of all the investment in smart meters, 50 per cent will come from EESL and the rest from NIIF (National Investment and Infrastructure Fund)."
The smart-meter category is one of the fastest growing segments of the company, with various states now showing keen interest to roll-out massive installation drive in their jurisdictions.
A smart-meter digitally records and wirelessly shares stats like household electricity consumption and voltage levels to the distribution companies.
"Many states like Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal have started discussions with us on smart meters," Kumar said.
"We are hoping to install 3 million smart meters in FY 21."
The meters bring along a unique feature which recused some of the power distribution companies, whose customers used them during the lockdown period.
"During the last 2.5 months the Discoms have not been able to do anything around billing and collection and the only answer to this is smart meters," Kumar said.
"In Bihar there are more than 35,000 consumers on pre-paid smart meters. Everyday the discoms are earning Rs 5 lakh from them. A contactless delivery system is the best in the current scenario, and we can only have it with a smart meter."
EESL's Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP) is working to eventually replace 25 crore conventional meters with smart meters across India.
This is expected to improve the billing efficiencies of Discoms and reduce their cost incurred on manual meter reading through web-based monitoring system.
At present, EESL has installed over 10 lakh smart meters.
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)