There’s good news for 13 states before the onset of the famed Indian summer. They will get more power, 8,000MW of it, which will be shared between them, but they will have to wait for at least five years.
The 8,000MW will come from the ultra-mega-power projects in Tilaiya (Jharkhand) and Cheyyur (Tamil Nadu), and is expected to be available between 2012 and 2017. The biggest gainer from the recent allocation is Tamil Nadu, which gets 1,600MW, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Jharkand with 1,000MW each. Tamil Nadu and Jharkand get preferential treatment because the plants are located in the states.
“We have firmed up the allocation of power being generated by these projects,” said an executive at the Power Finance Corporation, the company responsible for developing the ultra mega power plants at costs between Rs16,000 crore and Rs20,000 crore.
Though the process of identifying companies that will build the projects involves competitive bidding, the government has decided to sign power-purchase agreements even before a developer is decided. This is driven by a need to make the projects more attractive to bidders, and involves finding customers for the power that will be produced, and signing agreements with them. The customers are various state electricity boards.
All 13 states that have been allocated power have shortfalls of between 1.1% and 24.3% of demand. The government had initially planned to set up nine ultra-mega projects to add capacity in a country with a total yield of 1,28,182MW. Of these, the proposal to set up a plant in Chhattisgarh has been dropped and two projects, one in Karnataka and the other in Maharashtra have been stuck on account of a delay in identifying a location for them.
The special purpose vehicles for Cheyuur and Tilaiya projects—Coastal Tamil Nadu Power Ltd and Jharkhand Integrated Power Ltd—have already been formed. These firms will be transferred to the successful bidders.