Indian, Chinese firms forge partnerships worth $5.3b

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Indian and Chinese companies have come a step closer by forging fresh partnerships. Companies like Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group’s (Adag) Reliance Energy, Hyderabad-based Lanco and NIIT, apart from others, have signed deals worth $5.3 billion on Monday across sectors like energy, information technology, steel and railways.

Reliance Energy has enlisted China’s Guangdong Mingyang Wind Power as a joint venture partner to set up 2,500 mw renewable energy project with an investment of $3 billion. China Development Bank (CDB) will finance the new renewable energy project.

Reliance Energy’s largest foray into new energy projects has come at a time when large power players are facing problem of coal linkages, tariff-related issues and acquisition of land for conventional power projects, apart from environment and forest clearances. Reliance Energy is also facing serious issues with development of many ultra-mega power projects that it has signed up.

Along with Tata group chairman Ratan Tata, Adag chairman Anil Ambani have been pushing with the prime minister’s office (PMO) seeking concessions on coal pricing, land acquisition and environment clearances expeditiously.

The foray into wind power would enable Reliance Energy to diversify into sustainable and green energy sector in a big way.

Similarly, Lanco, headed by Lagadapati Rajagopal, has signed an agreement with China Development Bank (CDB) for $600 million for phase-two of the Anpara power project.

Both, Reliance Energy and Lanco group are sourcing their electrical equipment like generators and boilers from Chinese suppliers.

On Monday, NIIT too entered into $800 million deal with Hainan province to set up an IT knowledge park there.

Indian companies announced the mega deals with their Chinese counterparts and bankers during the visit of China’s plan panel, National Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC) chief Zhang Ping. Ping began his economic dialogue with his Indian counterpart Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Monday.

Both India and China also agreed to develop high-speed trains, station development and heavy haulage as part of the second bilateral strategic economic dialogue.

Besides, the two countries on Monday also signed seven agreements valued at $5.3 billion across energy, IT, electronics and steel and four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to help increase bilateral trade to $100 billion from $74 billion in two years.

Indian railways have already approved six high-speed rail corridors in sectors like Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar (450 km), Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad (650 km), Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai (664 km), Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam (649 km), Howrah-Haldia (135 km), and Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna (991 km).

Under the 12th Plan, Indian Railways plans to get major upgradation with help of heavy-haul freight trains of 15,000 tonnes capacity and 1500 metres length. Though China is a relatively new entrant in the bullet trains space, it is more competitive than either Japan or France.

“Indian railways have entered into an MoU with their Chinese counterpart on enhancing technical cooperation in the railway sector. These include high-speed trains, modernisation of railway stations and technology related to heavy haulage,” Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the planning commission said.

The planning commission has entered into an agreement with the Chinese plan body, NDRC, to undertake joint studies in economic policy research and development planning. Besides, there were MoUs singed to encourage cooperation between India’s bureau of energy efficiency and NDRC.

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