Mumbai: Madhav Bhandari, a spokesman for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra, alleged that the state government-owned Maharashtra Power Generation Co. Ltd delayed completion of 10 projects with a combined capacity of 4,570 MW by 1-3 years leading to a cost escalation of Rs8,616 crore.

The opposition party said these delays were deliberate as it benefited private power producers from which the state government purchased power at high prices.

The state power company, also known as Mahagenco, had in May moved an application before the state power regulator Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking its approval for the projected cost of Rs7 crore per MW for its 1,000 MW Khaperkheda project when the industry benchmark is Rs5-5.5 crore for thermal power projects.

In an emailed statement Mahagenco’s spokesman denied the projects were deliberately delayed.

“Since 2009, Mahagenco has added 2,000 MW to its capacity and delay is on account of delays by equipment supplier Bharat Heavy Electricials Ltd (BHEL) in supplying equipment and also on account of giving engineering procurement and commissioning (EPC) contracts for plant and balance of plant (BoP) to different contractors," he said.

In newer projects, Mahagenco has avoided this mistake and given EPC contract for both plant and BoP equipment to a single contractor, he said in the statement.

Boilers, turbines and generators are called ‘plant’ in a power generation station and equipment such as switchyards, cooling towers and coal handling machinery are termed balance of plant.