Fellow public-sector company NTPC Ltd might no longer be willing to partner it, but power generation equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) doesn’t want that to end its aspirations of being associated with ultra-mega power projects. The company is in talks with domestic and foreign power firms to bid for the ultra-mega project at Krishnapattnam in Andhra Pradesh.
“We are in talks with two companies for participation for bidding for the Krishnapattnam project. While one of the companies is an overseas firm, the other is a domestic one.We are hopeful about aligning ourselves with one of them,” said a Bhel executive. He declined to name the two firms.
Bhel may also tie up with a power-generation company for the Tilaiya ultra-mega power project in Jharkhand. The process of selecting developers for the two projects is likely to be completed by April.
NTPC had refused to partner with Bhel after their joint bid for the Sasan ultra-mega power project in Madhya Pradesh ended up on the losing side. The project was awarded to Lanco. After the loss, NTPC said the higher engineering, procurement and construction cost quoted by Bhel was the factor that made the bid uncompetitive. The NTPC-Bhel bid was for Rs2.12 per unit of power generated, compared with Lanco-Globeleq Singapore’s Rs1.19.
Bhel is trying to work out a way to match Lanco’s pricing, but the executive admitted that this will not be easy. “This will require us to quote a cost of Rs3.40 crore per MW, and in order to do so, we will have to optimize the project’s design,” the executive added.
A Bhel team was recently in Paris shopping for adequate technology to optimize the design of the Krishnapattnam project.
Meanwhile, NTPC has plans to partner power-equipment makers from Russia and South Korea to quote lower prices for other mega projects.
“We feel let down by Bhel. They had quoted Rs5 crore per MW as engineering, procurement and construction cost for the Sasan project; it shouldn’t have been more than Rs3.6 crore,” an NTPC executive had told Mint earlier, on condition of anonymity.
The government plans to set up nine ultra-mega power plants, 4,000MW each, at an estimated investment of Rs16,000-Rs20,000 crore for each plant.