Less than two months after amending the power sector guidelines for special economic zones (SEZs) enabling standalone power plants to qualify as SEZs and be eligible for tax sops, the government has approved Adani Power’s request to set up a power sector SEZ in Jharkhand.

“Adani Power’s renewed request for a sector-specific SEZ for power in Jharkhand got the approval from the Board of Approval (BoA) for SEZs last week as the new power guidelines now allow such zones provided they are dedicated to exports,” a government official told BusinessLine .

Adani Power’s request for a power SEZ in Jharkhand made last year had to be rejected by the BoA for SEZs — the highest inter-ministerial decision making body for the zones headed by the Commerce Secretary — as that time it was inconsistent with the existing power guidelines.

“The Board, after deliberations, approved the proposal by Adani Power (Jharkhand) for setting up a sector-specific SEZ for power at Motia, Mali, Gaighat and adjacent villages in Godda District, Jharkhand, over 425 hectares,” the minutes of the BoA meeting held on February 25, said. Formal approval has been given for the 222.68 hectares of land in possession, while in-principle approval has been given for the remaining 202.32 hectares.

In January this year, the BoA approved the Commerce Ministry’s proposal of amending the existing power guidelines for SEZs to allow standalone power plants dedicated to exports to qualify as an SEZ in line with the new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Power.

“Further, there will be no option of selling excess power in the Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) as the entire power has to be exported or consumed within the SEZ,” the Ministry had said in its earlier submission to the BoA.

Bonanza for Adani

The new guidelines come as a big bonanza for the Adani Group, which reportedly signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Bangladesh in November 2017 for supplying power from its plant in Jharkhand.