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Indian steel producer announces plans for $7.7 billion of hydropower development

NEW DELHI, India 6/20/12 (PennWell) -- A shortage of coal has led Indian steelmaker Jindal Power Ltd. to announce its plan to spend US$7.7 billion on hydroelectric projects over the next decade, HydroWorld.com has learned.

The investment would create 6,100 MW of hydropower capacity in India's Arunachal Pradesh.

"The biggest positive for us will be that for the next 45 years, we will have plants that run steady without troubles coal-fired ones face," Jindal official Jayant Shrinivas Kawale told an Indian news source.

Jindal says clean energy incentives being offered by India's state and federal governments are one motivating factor for the switch.

Currently, about 60% of the country's energy is produced by coal, although the government allows hydro operators to sell as much as 40% of their output at market rates instead of the state-administered rates faced by other forms of energy.

Jindal says it hopes to have approval for its first project within a year, with commissioning of that project within seven years. 

HydroWorld.com reported in April that India's power ministry has set a goal of adding 10,000 MW of hydroelectric power generation within the next five years. Indian state Jammu and Kashmir also recently announced its commitment to adding 8,000 MW of hydropower capacity in the next decade.

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