Since its de-merger from National Power in October 2000,
International Power has stuck to its strategy of growth in the US,
Europe and the Middle East and Australia, claiming that the
geographical spread of its operations will protect it from any
market downturn. ?The international spread of our operations
mitigates our exposure to the business cycles of any single market
and provides a strong platform for sustained growth in shareholder
value,? declared chairman Sir Neville Simms in the company's
interim results, published in September this year. Let's hope he's
right ? as any company sitting on top of two power plants in
Pakistan needs all the geographical diversity it can get.
To be fair, International Power's two Pakistan-based plants may be
about to pay the company a dividend for the first time in three
years. International Power has a 26% stake in the Hub River project
(run by Hubco), the 1,292MW residual fuel oil-fired plant 45km
outside Karachi, and a 36% stake in Kot Addu, a 1,600MW CCGT plant
located in the Punjab region of the country. Hubco, which is the
largest IPP in Pakistan, announced at the end of October that it
will hold a board meeting this month (November) to approve its
full-year results which will entail payment of a 1.70 rupee per
share dividend. Both plants have long-term PPAs with the Water and
Power Development Agency (WAPDA) and it is the settling of a bitter
tariff dispute with WAPDA last December that has made this dividend
payment possible. The dispute was settled by Hubco agreeing to
reduce its tariffs from 6.5 cents per kw/hr to 5.6 cents per kw/hr.
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