McKennas advises Indian State Governments on utilities restructure

INTERNATIONAL law firm McKenna & Co has been instructed by three of India's State Governments to provide utilities advice on the restructuring of State Electricity Boards in Orissa, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The firm, well-established in the country as an expert in the power sector, is advising the boards on seven projects, as well as providing legal services to India's Ministry of Finance.

In Orissa McKennas has worked on the design of the new regulatory regime and machinery for the transfer of assets and staff to implement electricity restructuring.

The firm is also working on two restructuring studies in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, including advice on a new independent regulatory regime and the mechanics of carving up the electricity boards in the two states.

McKenna & Co utility group partner, Fiona Woolf, says economic developments have brought about the need for reform in India's power sector and for solutions to a range of “complex” problems.

“We are fortunate in having been involved in the reform activities from the outset,” says Woolf.

“A growing economy, where State Electricity Boards are no longer able to serve consumer demands, combined with a dearth of funds to invest in the power sector, has left the electricity industry in India in a state of crisis.

“Both the UK and US are looking seriously at India as an area to expand now that home markets are becoming saturated and the potential opportunities in India over the next decade are almost unlimited.”