Tata, Adani among nine in fray for Odisha power project

Siddhartha P. Saikia New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018


Serious players have come forward, say experts

Nine power developers have submitted their initial bids (request for qualification or RFQ) for the 4,000-MW ultra mega power project (UMPP) at Bhedabahal in Odisha on Monday.

The companies are Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), Tata Power, NTPC, Adani Power, JSW, Sterlite Inventure, CLP India, Larsen & Toubro and NHPC.

“In the pre-qualification bid, the level of response in good. Serious players have come forward,” said a senior official of Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC), the nodal body holding the auction.

Bids to be scrutinised

The bids placed for the Rs 24,000-crore power project would be scrutinised and those who meet the parameters would be asked to submit the request for proposal (RFP) or the offer for tariff.

Power developers generating electricity at the cheapest rate would emerge as the winner. The project is likely to be awarded by the end of current fiscal.

“The overall response is more than expected though NTPC and NHPC were expected to participate out of the public sector companies. The nine companies placing RFQs when the sector is going through several roadblocks is commendable. There are only a few large companies that are fundamentally strong and are capable of bidding,” said Salil Garg, Director (Corporates), India Ratings & Research.

“Now, it is to be seen how many of these power developers qualify for the next step. This time, bidders may be conservative in placing bids, after previous experiences of lower tariffs,” Garg added.

Cheyyur power plant

A similar bidding is also open for Cheyyur power plant in Tamil Nadu, which would close on November 28.

Some of the players in power sector such as Reliance Power, Essar Power, Lanco and Jaiprakash Associates did not place their bids.

While the Odisha project will be based on domestic coal, the Tamil Nadu project would be fired from imported fuel.

Regulatory hurdles cleared

The Government believes that it is offering investment-friendly parameters for these projects and claims to have cleared the major regulatory hurdles required for the setting up of mega power projects.

In August, the revised standard bidding documents were given the go-ahead by an Empowered Group of Ministers.

“The fuel charge is no longer a bid parameter. That takes away most of the variable risks of the project. Moreover, land, water and environment clearances have already been acquired for the project,” said the PFC official.

At present, India has awarded four ultra mega power projects — one to Tata Power and three to Reliance Power. So far, only Tata Power’s project at Mundra in Gujarat is fully operational.

Published on November 25, 2013

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