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Poor response forces NTPC, NLC to extend bid date for Andaman projects

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2018

Project developers maintain that the current technologies in the storage sphere do not allow for a reliable cost projection beyond 10 to 12 years

Bidders find stringent conditions imposed on storage-linked solar projects unattractive



NTPC and Nevyeli Lignite Corporation (NLC) have extended the bid submission date for their storage-linked solar power projects in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands following poor response from bidders.

The closing date for NTPC’s 24 MWh storage tender has been extended to August 3. The bid submission deadline for NTPC’s 3.2 MWh storage tender has been extended to August 7.

Few bidders

This is the first extension for these projects and the last date to apply for the 24 MWh tender was July 3. The bid submission deadline for the 3.2 MWh project was July 7.

NLC appears to be having a tough time attracting bidders to its 28 MWh storage-linked solar project. The initial deadline for this project was June 27. This was extended to July 12. Now the last date for bid submission stands at August 3 for the NLC project.

According to industry representatives, the NLC project is fraught with multiple technical hurdles. An official bidding on behalf of a multinational clean energy major said, “NLC is calling for a combined tender for the solar power generation and storage set up. This is proving to be a hindrance because companies cannot individually commit to operate and maintain both generation and storage facilities for 25 years.”

Another industry representative said, “Partnership formation takes more time and foreign players (manufacturers) need to be involved, because none of the Indian players has the eligibility to qualify independently.”

The quantum of bank guarantee being sought by NLC is also a matter of concern for project bidders. An official said, “NLC has sought 10 per cent of the project cost as bank guarantee. This is expected to be ₹ 40-50 crore. This includes both solar and storage project.”

NTPC projects

NTPC bidders are relatively more positive about its projects because of the delinking of storage and generation. BusinessLine reported on June 14 that Rays Power Infra, Hero Future Energies and Renew Power and Amplus Solar were interested in the NTPC project.

A bidder said the bank guarantee and upfront payments are based on the 25-year life cycle. “If the cost of maintaining these storage linked projects comes down in the future, there is no clarity on whether the bank guarantee and upfront payments will be refunded,” he said.

Project developers also maintain that the current technologies in the storage sphere do not allow for a reliable cost projection beyond 10 to 12 years.

Published on July 10, 2017

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