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DPC: GE, FIs to ink pact in 7 days

Last updated on: June 23, 2005 18:57 IST

The trouble-torn 2,184 MW Dabhol power project is all set to be restarted with General Electric, one of the major equity holders, slated to reach an agreement with Indian financial institutions by this month end.

"We will sign a comprehensive settlement agreement with the FIs led by IDBI. This will put an end to all disputes," Scott Bayman, president and CEO, GE India, said in New Delhi.

Although he declined to give specific details of the settlement, sources said GE has agreed for settlement of dues at about $145 million. Bechtel, another partner is reported to have raised additional issues, while accepting an agreement of $160 million.

GE and Bechtel together had purchased US major Enron's stake in Dabhol and have close to 85 per cent stake.

"We want the plant to be restarted as soon as possible. The three companies -- BHEL, NTPC and GAIL -- are all capable companies and can start generation of electricity very soon," Bayman said.

GE Energy president and CEO John Rice, who is in India, met power secretary R V Shahi on Thursday and discussed various issues including restarting of Dabhol plant and GE's expansion plan in India.

Asked when the plant could be restarted, Rice said: "We do not know the actual condition of the machinery, especially turbines though on the face of it they look good.

"We want to settle the matter and move forward," Rice said without giving specifics of the agreement.

The $3 billion Dabhol plant, initially promoted by the now bankrupt Enron group, has been lying defunct since mid-2001 following financial disputes with Maharashtra State Electricity Board.

GE and Bechtel, who were project contractors in Dabhol Power Corporation with stakes of 10 per cent each, were awarded 65.5 per cent equity of Enron in the project by a US bankruptcy court for about $20 million in April 2004.

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