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27 Dec | Powering India – OPG Power Ventures

Following a financial clemin of a year like 2011, it’s good to take a little time out to define at least one non-negotiable. A given. Something you can hang your hat on moving forward.

Here’s a starter for ten. India will consume all of the energy it produces in 2012. India’s energy gap is not breaking news. For a country with a population only second to China’s – 1,170 billion compared to China’s 1,338 billion in 2010 – and an enviable recent record of economic growth, India’s energy consumption figures compared to that of its northern neighbour, provide a glimpse of the chasm that exists between the two countries in terms of energy infrastructure.

To illustrate this point, take a look at the graph below which displays Energy Use (kg of oil equivalent per capita) for the period of 1971 to 2009 – data supplied by the International Energy Agency. Notice the divergence between the Chinese and Indian lines from 2002 through 2009.

Anyway, India knows all about its energy shortcomings and obviously they are working towards bridging the supply-demand gap moving forward. And that’s where we as investors can join the party.

Followers of Investor Trader may recall a share that we enjoyed a brief fling with back in 2010: OPG Power Ventures (OPG.L). Here was our reasoning at the time. We jumped in at 66 pence in August and out at 68 pence in November. We now think the time is right to re-visit OPG Power Ventures and here’s a few reasons why.

For the six months ended 30th September 2011, OPG’s revenue has risen 166% to £23.85m, whilst EBITDA has increased 34% to £6.34m. Cash and cash equivalents sit at a very healthy £66.84m. Check out OPG’s half year results at Interactive Investor for the whole picture.

Just this week, there’s been a little top-up from a director (I do mean little) – but it’s never a bad sign. And no surprise here, the share price sits at 35 pence – a third of the £1+ it began 2011 at.

Since November 2010 OPG has gone on to add that 77MW of capacity we touched on in our reasons to buy back in 2010, taking total annual capacity to 113MW. On the subject of capacity there’s more to come; much, much more. 552MW of fully-funded capacity in fact and all by the shank of 2013.

And looking further forward to 2015, OPG Power’s Chairman, Arvind Gupta, has a target capacity of 1,250MW in sight.

So with an Indian government hell bent on upping local energy production (with policies and tariffs in place to encourage just that) and an aggressive growth campaign taking shape, we think the time is right to take a closer look at OPG Power Ventures heading into 2012. Expect an OPG addition to our portfolio not too far down the track.

For those of you who’d like to dig a little deeper into OPG, here’s some recent articles from Stock Market Wire and Investors Chronicle.

Coming up in part two of Powering India we’ll take a closer look at another AIM-listed Indian energy company, with a grandiose vision and an environmental edge.

Until then, thanks for dropping by. I wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2012.