The agency said outlook is positive for the solar power sector backed by stable operations, regular payments from most counterparties and manageable construction risk
New Delhi: Coal-based thermal power plants are likely to suffer due to the twin issues of lower power demand from distribution companies and coal availability. However, the broad outlook is positive for wind energy, solar power and transmission sectors, research agency India Ratings said in a statement today.
“For coal-based thermal power, non-pit head plants are facing irregular coal supply, leading to a high risk of declaring availability lower-than-required per normative level,” the agency said, adding the competition in the short-term market is likely to intensify if there are delays in addressing these issues and the absence of long-term power purchase agreements.
India Ratings maintained a forecast of stable outlook for the wind energy sector due to a diversified portfolio of bigger developers, sufficient buffer in the form of debt service coverage ratios, stabilizing receivable days and grid availability in some of the windy states.
The agency said outlook is positive for the solar power sector backed by stable operations, regular payments from most counterparties and manageable construction risk, especially for the capacity coming up in solar parks.
According to India Ratings, power transmission projects continue to exhibit high project availability. “Interstate projects exhibit stable receivable period, while exposure of intrastate projects to single counterparty risk continues as a major credit risk,” it said.
Analysts also forecast stable outlook on the overall transport infrastructure sector including toll roads, annuity roads, hybrid annuity model (HAM) projects and airports.
While HAM projects have enabled the revival of private participation, there is some pressure on the financial closure front, as lenders, especially public sector banks are going slow on financing these projects on account of lack of appetite and lending freeze on many of these lenders.
On the transactions front, the agency expects under construction HAM projects to garner a reasonable share in the acquisition market. Rising domestic interest rates and falling rupee (for dollar-denominated bonds) are dampening the interest of infrastructure companies in the bond market.
India Ratings expects stronger renewable energy projects with moderate operational history, strong counterparties and stable sponsor to be able to tap funds from the bond market on a standalone level, without external guarantees or pooling of cash flows.