New Delhi: The empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM) deferred a decision on 2 July, the 4,000MW Sasan ultra mega power project to 24 July and extended the bid validity by one month to 5 August.
“Still there are some problems that we have raised...it requires some time... EGoM will now be held on 24 July,” power minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters after the meeting.
The eGoM found “some new problems” and is exploring the options to sort out those issues, he said, adding, the group was examining all options so that future projects do not get affected. He, however, said the bid price was not the issue.
The eGoM meeting was held to take a decision on whether Lanco, which was awarded the project last year, violated bidding norms. The dispute arose when Lanco’s foreign partner Globeleq sold its 70% stake in the joint venture to Lanco and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd after winning the bid.
Shinde said the eGoM was for all upcoming projects and not for Sasan alone. “This eGoM is not for one but for everything,” he said.
As the Sasan bid was valid up to 5 July, there was an urgency to decide on whether Lanco misrepresented facts, as pointed out by bid consultant Ernst & Young.
Shinde said the eGoM has been constituted to eliminate delays due to technical and legal issues in the implementation of ultra mega power projects. The eGoM would not examine the bids but would only step in cases where issues became complex, he had earlier said.
The eGoM was set up after the government and Power Finance Corporation failed to decide on fate of the project.
PFC is the nodal agency for setting up ultra mega power projects. Lanco-Globeleq had won the project by quoting a tariff of Rs1.19 a unit, outbidding nearest rival Reliance Energy.
Lanco Infratech, Reliance Energy and NTPC Ltd have already extended the bid bond validity for the Sasan project by one month to 4 August.