Tata among 10 Indian companies vying for Nepal hydropower deal

March 12th, 2008 - 2:58 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, March 12 (IANS) At least 11 more Indian companies, including the Tata group, are in the fray for a third hydropower project in Nepal with two already bagged by Indian firms. After India’s GMR Group bagged the 300 Upper Karnali hydropower project and Indian PSU Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam the 402 Arun III, Indian companies form the bulk of 21 organisations that have evinced interest in developing the 600 MW Budi Gandaki project.

Tata Power Co Ltd, India’s largest private sector power utility, is among the Indian companies that have paid NRS 20,000 each to buy the proposal form.

The other Indian contenders include AES India, the wholly owned Indian subsidiary of American energy major AES Corp, KSK Energy Ventures, JSW Energy, a group company of Jindal South West, and Tehri Hydro Development Corp, a joint venture between the Indian government and the government of Uttar Pradesh.

Three Indian construction companies are also interested in the project. They are New Delhi-based Continental Construction Ltd, one of the largest civil engineering companies in India, Nagarjuna Construction Ltd and the Hyderabad-based Maytas Infra Ltd.

Even Puducherry is interested in investing in Nepal’s hydropower sector with the Puducherry Power Corp Ltd also buying a form.

The serious competition will start after March 24, after the companies have submitted the forms.

An Indo-Nepal joint venture is also in the reckoning, IL&FS’s newly formed joint venture IL&FS Nepal Infrastructure Development Co.

The other potential contenders are from China, Nepal, the US and Iceland.

Unlike Arun III and Upper Karnali, Budi Gandaki is a storage project that will involve far more red tape with displacement and rehabilitation of people.

The number of bidders rose this year after the formation of a multi-party government and the initial success of the two earlier Indian companies.

Though Nepal last year had sought bids for the same project, there were only three interested parties, all of whose proposals were evaluated as substandard.

However, the actual signing of the deal is unlikely to be before June since Nepal will be caught up in a historic election in April.

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