UAE's TAQA buys stake in India hydro plant

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company on Sunday said it has acquired a minority interest in the developer of a 100 megawatt hydroelectric plant in northern India, with plans to fully acquire the firm at a later date.

The purchase is the latest in a string of acquisitions by the firm, which is 75 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government.

TAQA said in a statement it had acquired an interest in Himachal Sorang Power Limited (HSPL) through a joint venture with Jyoti Structures Ltd (JSL), an Indian power infrastructure company. No value for the purchase was given.

TAQA and JSL plan to progressively acquire 100 percent of the share capital of HSPL and will jointly operate the Sorang plant, which is due to begin operations later this year.

Once fully acquired, the Abu Dhabi firm will hold a majority stake in the joint venture, the statement said.

"This investment will both complement our existing power generation business in India and support TAQA's nascent renewable energy stream," Carl Sheldon, CEO of TAQA, said, adding it reflected the firm's confidence in the Indian market.

TAQA already operates a 250 megawatt lignite power station in the Neyveli region of southern India.

Last week, TAQA said it was buying a 50 percent stake in a wind power project in Minnesota from a subsidiary of France's Electricite de France , TAQA's first such acquisition in the United States.

It also bought a 53.2 percent operating interest in an oil block in Iraqi Kurdistan from General Exploration Partners (GEP) in November and signed a deal in December to acquire assets in the North Sea from BP for over $1.3 billion.

(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Editing by David French)