INFRASTRUCTURE 
 
 
 
IDFC assists 20 projects in 1998-99   

Infrastructure Development Finance Co. (IDFC) has registered a more than three-fold rise in net profit during 1998-99. For the year ended March 31, 1999, its net profit rose by 215 per cent to Rs. 128.80 crore ($ 30.36m) in the previous year.   

During the year 1998-99 Infrastructure Development Finance Co. provided assistance to 13 project six in power sector, four in roads sector and three in the telecom sector. While total approvals for the financial year aggregated to Rs. 2282 crore, total disbursements aggregated to Rs. 724 crore, which means that only 32 per cent of the sanctioned funds have been disbursed by IDFC.   

It has registered a net profit of Rs. 129 crore ($ 30 million) during the year as against Rs. 41 crore ($ 10 million) in the preceding year, showing over three fold rise.   

Export of renewable energy products   

A committee to promote export of renewable energy products Jias been set up in the ministry of non-convention energy sources.   

About 15 companies were manufacturing state-of-the art wind turbines in the country at present. According to the ministry estimates, the annual turnover of the non-conventional energy industry in the country is Rs. 2,500 crore. The manufactures are in the small scale, medium and large-scale sectors including some multinational Corporations.   

The production capacity and turnover of wind turbine industry currently is 500 mw and Rs. 1,500 crore respectively. In the solar energy industry, there are nine firms manufacturing solar cells and 21 photovoltaic (pv) modules. The leading companies in the area include public sector Bharat heavy electricals limited (BHEL) and Central Electronics Ltd. (CEL). Three export-oriented units are also producing solar pv systems.   

Andhra Pradesh's Kondapalli Power Project has majority UK stake   

Britain's leading development finance institution, the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) has picked up a 25% stake in the 355 MW, Rs 11,000 million, combined cycle power project in Kondapalli, Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Eastern Generation Ltd. UK, one of the principal promoters of the project has a 30% stake. Eastern will carry out the operation and maintenance of the plant through its Indian subsidiary. The Kondapalli project is the first of its kind to reach financial closure among the several projects awared by State Electricity Boards in India, under the tariff driven, International Competitive Bidding route.   

Kondapalli Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) is a joint venture company formed to build, own and operate the power plant whose output will be linked to the Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board's (APSEB) grid. The other promoters are Lance group of Hyderabad. The other equity investors are Korea Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd., South Korea.   

PFC to raise $ 250 m via ECB route   

Power Finance corporation (PFC) plans to raise about $ 250 million (Rs. 1,000 crore) from the overseas market in the current fiscal as part of its efforts to mobilise resources for funding the power utilities. Total resource mobilisation planned is Rs. 2000 crore.   

The mobilisation of resources from the foreign market will be in two tranches, one with $ 100 million with a green shoe option of $ 50 million and the rest through a second tranche.   

Russian space agency forms JV with Indian Co.   

Russian space agency Okb Mei, a Russian government enterprise, has formed a joint venture with Orbitel Communications to provide telecom networks and information highways in India. The equity holding proportion between Indian and Russian Company would be 51:49.   

The JV company will set up telecommunication networks and information highways to provide basic telephone and value added services including internet, e-mail, mobile satellite phones, television etc.   

Some infrastructure industries look up in April '99   

Fiscal 1999-2000 began on a positive note with cement production recording a growth of 27.1 per cent in April 1999. Steel output too had a modest 4.1 per cent growth.   

The other six infrastructure industries, viz. electricity, crude petroleum, petroleum refinery products and coal, recorded a growth rate of 5.9 per cent during the month of April.   

The index of industrial production (IIP) during 1998-99 it may be recalled, slipped to 3.8 per cent from 6.6 percent recorded during the previous financial year, making the last fiscal one of the worst from the point of view of industrial output in recent years. Against this background, the better performance of the six infrastructure industries during April 1999 assumes significance and augurs well for the industry.   
  
INTERNET PAGES SHOOT UP TO 800 MILLION   

The NEC Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey has estimated that there were some 800 million pages amounting to six terabytes of data, held on three million servers or central computers, whereas in 1997 there were 320 million pages of indexed material on the web. Incidentally, terabytes means one million million 10 raised to the power of 12 or strictly 2 raised to the power of 40 bytes. Also the word `tera' is derived from Greek teras meaning monster. However, search engines are required to be improved to derive full advantage of this growing mass of data