Private equity (PE) has emerged as an important source of capital for infrastructure in recent years. There have been more than 2,000 deals by PE infrastructure funds till 2012, with annual investments in the range of $100-120bn. Substantial proportion of these investments has been in the energy and the power sector. This paper aims to compare power generation projects with and without PE investment.
In this study, 148 power generation projects that were implemented in India during 2004-2011 were used for the analysis. Ordinary least squares and three-stage least squares regression have been used to analyze the impact of PE investment on unit project costs and project commissioning time.
Projects with PE investment had lower unit capacity costs as compared to power projects that did not have PE investment. This indicated the ability of PE investors to select, invest and develop those projects that are cost-effective. However, projects with PE investment had longer commissioning time. This can be attributed to the active monitoring and governance practices that were associated with PE investment.
The results highlight the key role that PE investors can play in power sector development in developing countries. Apart from providing capital to capital-starved economies, PE investors can help in developing cost-effective projects and contribute to sector development by institutionalizing robust processes and governance practices.
This is one of the earliest studies to analyze the impact of PE investment on the power sector.
The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Human Settlement Management Institute for conducting this study. The authors also thank the suggestions from the Editor and the anonymous reviewer for improving the paper. Research support from Josephine Gemson and Keerthana Sundar is also gratefully acknowledged.
Thillairajan, A. and Behera, M. (2016), "Private equity investment in power generation projects: evidence from India", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 617-641. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJESM-12-2014-0008Download as .RIS
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