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Press Release on the visit of Union Power Minister, Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde to the US

Washington, DC
April 26, 2006 

Union Power Minister, Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde is leading a delegation of Indian power sector to New York, Washington DC, Chicago and LA on April 24- May 1, 2006. The delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Power, Chairman and Managing Director of the Power Finance Corporation of India, which is the largest financial institution in the power sector, representatives of private power producers of India, is conducting a road show to inform potential investors in the US regarding the opportunities that the Indian power sector presents to them. US-India Business Council and FICCI are organizing meetings with US industry in all these places. 

Ministry of Power is in the process of setting up a five Ultra Mega Power Projects of 4000 MW each in India. Two of these projects will be coal pithead based plants and three would be coastal plants based on imported coal. Power Finance Corporation is establishing shell companies to set up these projects and obtain all necessary regulatory clearances and fuel linkages. Ministry of Power is inviting private investment including from the US in these shell companies. The whole process of selection of private investors in these companies is to be completed by January 2007. 

Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde held a meeting with US industry at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC on April 25. A large number of US power sector companies, including GE, ABB, Caterpillar, AES etc. participated in the meeting. Indian Ambassador to the US, Mr. Ronen Sen and Chairman, Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the US, Mr. Robert Mosbacher Jr also participated in the meeting. The US companies evinced a lot of interest in participation in these Ultra Mega Power Projects. 

Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde met US Energy Secretary, Mr. Samuel Bodman on April 26. They discussed various issues of Indo-US cooperation in the India-US Energy Dialogue. India and US recently signed an agreement for Indian participation in the FutureGen project to develop zero emission coal based power plants. They also discussed issues relating to clean coal technology, energy efficiency and conservation, participation of US companies in Indian power sector and energy security. 

Power Finance Corporation, International Finance Corporation and National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association of the US signed an MOU on April 25 in the presence of Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde. These organizations will cooperate in implementation of rural electrification projects with the ultimate goal of electrifying every village by the year 2009 and every household by 2012 as envisaged under the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidhyutikaran Yojana.