New Delhi: Taking a cue from the Centre, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are launching their own initiatives, and inviting private bids to develop mega power projects, for which regulatory formalities have already been cleared.
It is the first time that any of these states will be using this model to initiate power projects. To be developed by private entities, these plants will boast a combined capacity of 6,800 megawatt (MW) at a cost of around Rs27,200 crore.
The Union power ministry had used this model to close out deals with private developers to build 4,000MW power projects in Sasan (Madhya Pradesh) and Mundra (Gujarat).
Prior to opening the project for bids, the power ministry had set up a special purpose vehicle, and obtained all regulatory clearances for the project.
In the past, failure to get all the clearances has stalled some big-ticket power projects. The 2,000-MW Subansiri hydro power project in Arunachal Pradesh was denied environmental clearance, as the project was threatening the unique and species-rich tropical rain forests of the region.
The projects to be set up in the four states will have capacities ranging from 1,000MW to 2,000MW. While Rajasthan and Haryana will be floating the tender for two projects of 1,000MW each, Punjab will invite expressions of interest for two projects of 1,600 MW and 1,000MW, respectively.
“The Punjab government wanted to set up the Talwandi project having three units of 500 MW, with a combined capacity of 1,500 MW. We have advised them to go for two units of 800 MW each, which will increase the project size to 1,600 MW,” a power ministry official said. Other states who are likely to follow suit are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu.
“Even if each of these states set up one project each, we are talking about a capacity addition of close to 10,000 MW, involving an investment of around Rs40,000 crore,” the official added.
The Union power ministry is working with the energy secretaries of various states to select developers through competitive bidding. Earlier, the state governments were not willing to subscribe to the model. Now, in the light of the mega power projects initiated by the Union power ministry, the states are beginning to rethink.
“These states, which were only doing preparatory work, have assured us in a recent meeting of energy secretaries that within the next two to three months they will float the tenders for the selection of developers,” the official added.