NTPC Limited is eyeing nearly 1,000 MW of solar power projects in Africa through the International Solar Alliance. This push for overseas projects is in line with the NTPC’s strategy to gain from the $1-million contribution it made to the ISA fund corpus last year.

“We are looking to develop nearly 1,000 MW of solar power projects in African countries that are members of the International Solar Alliance. We are currently in the discussion phase. We hope to gain some leverage in these countries due to our association with the ISA,” a top NTPC official told BusinessLine.

This will be the first time that the NTPC will be developing solar power projects overseas.

The ISA was envisaged as an alliance of 121 solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Its first Assembly was held in New Delhi during October last year. The alliance aims to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries.

Global presence

Increasing international presence through the ISA is not the only route the NTPC is considering. The company already has a 50 per cent joint venture with the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to set up the Maitree Super Thermal Power Project. The envisaged project has two coal-based units of 660 MW each and all the power generated will be sold in Bangladesh.

“We are on schedule to commission the project in 2020-21,” said the NTPC official. The NTPC and the BPDB had signed an MoU in August 2010 and envisaged setting up this 1,320-MW coal-based power plant in Bangladesh for mitigating the power shortage there.

“NTPC is also looking at consultancy opportunities in Morocco, Oman and some African countries. We hope to offer our expertise in thermal as well and hydro power projects,” the official added.