Expert panel chaired by Pratyush Sinha to review bidding norms for UMPPs

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 08:08 Lathish PV

Pratyush SinhaIn a bid to revive interest in the 4,000 MW ultra mega power projects (UMPPs), the power ministry has constituted an expert committee to review the standard bidding document for Case II projects following a lukewarm response to tenders for Tamil Nadu and Odisha projects that saw private developers withdrawing from the process on account of lopsided norms.

The expert panel will be chaired by former chief vigilance commissioner Pratyush Sinha. The other members are RN Choubey, special secretary, ministry of power, Pramod Deo, ex-chairman, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, S Vishwanathan, ex-managing director of SBI and Rakesh Kacker, a retired IAS officer. The committee will have its first meeting on Friday.

"To address various issues related to the subject and to encourage larger participation from investors and developers, it has been decided to constitute an expert committee to examine bidding documents applicable for UMPP," a power ministry official said.

Private power developers had opposed the DBFOT (design-build-finance-operate-transfer) model adopted by the bidding documents after undergoing revision in September, 2013. They had also petitioned the government to go back to previous model of BOO (Build-operate-own), a suggestion that was also endorsed by the Suresh Prabhu-led advisory group on power. Financial institutions have been concerned over their ability to finance projects that would be transferred to procurers at the end of the contract tenure.

Earlier this month, power minister Piyush Goyal announced the scrapping of bidding process, which had been hanging fire for nearly two years, as PSUs NTPC and NHPC were the only interested parties left in the fray.

Source- Financial Express