Himachal Pradesh approves 13 hydropower projects

January 18th, 2009 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Jan 18 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh has given the go-ahead to independent power producers for executing 13 hydropower projects having a total generation capacity of 1,583 MW.A senior government official associated with power project allocation said the selected companies include Moserbaer, DCM Sriram Infrastructure and Jindal Steel and Power.

The official, on condition of anonymity, said the selected companies have been invited to sign pre-implementation agreements with the government and deposit the fixed upfront premium of Rs.2 million (Rs.20 lakh) per megawatt.

A pre-implementation agreement is mandatory before starting any project in the state.

Earlier, the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board, which reviewed the bids, had recommended that the projects be granted approval.

Moserbaer, better known for its optical media products such as compact discs (CDs), has wrangled five projects - the highest number - that have an aggregate generation capacity of 1,048 MW. These are the Riyoli-Dugali (420 MW), Saili (320 MW), Teling (69 MW), Miyar (90 MW) and Saach Khas (149 MW) projects.

Jindal Steel and Power has got the Lara (60 MW), Kuling Lara (40 MW) and Mane Nadang (70 MW) projects, while DCM Sriram Infrastructure bagged the Khoksar (90 MW) and Tingret (81 MW) projects.

Patel Engineering was allotted the 236 MW Duggar project in Chamba district and ANS Construction the 7.5 MW Kilhi Bahal project in Kangra district.

Most of the projects are located in the basins of the Sutlej and Chenab rivers in Lahaul and Spiti districts. The projects have been allotted on a build-own-operate-and-transfer (BOOT) basis.

Incidentally, giants such as Tata Power, Larsen and Toubro (L&T), Essar Power, the Bhilwara Group and GMR Infrastructure were among companies that had also bid for these projects.

Under the state’s amended power policy, the bidder who offers more free power to the state in addition to the fixed quota are allotted projects. However, during the previous Congress government, the projects were allotted on the basis of highest upfront premium.

The fixed quota is 12 percent free power for the first 12 years, 18 percent for up to 30 years, and 30 percent up to 40 years. After 40 years, the project will be handed over to the government.

The free power bidding is in addition to the fixed upfront premium of Rs.2 million (Rs.20 lakh) per megawatt.

The official said big firms like Tata Power offered less free power, which went against them.

The government has also decided not to charge any upfront premium from the state-based independent power producers up to 5 MW in view of the development of entrepreneurship amongst the educated youth in the power sector. However, they will be required to provide free power to the state as per its policy.

Himachal Pradesh has an estimated potential to generate 21,000 MW of hydropower, of which only one-third has been exploited so far. The state plans to tap about 12,000 MW by 2012.

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