Power Finance Corporation (PFC) had invited expressions of interest for the project last July. However, it was unable to go ahead with the tendering in the absence of environmental clearance for captive coal mines allocated for meeting the fuel requirement of the power project. PFC is the nodal agency for conducting bidding for the project.
"The delay was expected to wane down investor interest in the project. However, the lure of power project with captive coal blocks has kept thier interest alive," said the source.
The UMPP at Orissa is the fifth in the series. So far, four UMPPs have been awarded, with Reliance Power bagging three-- Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand)--and Tata Power executing the fourth one at Mundra in Gujarat.
The power ministry plans to set up 16 UMPPs over a period of time to tide over the electricity shortage in the country.
However, there is not much progress in tendering for the Chhattisgarh UMPP which is facing similar problems. The captive blocks of this project too fall in the "no-go" area where the environment ministry is unwilling to relax its position.
Coal blocks for the Orissa UMPP were cleared recently after delay of over an year due to enviornmental hurdles. These blocks were stuck in the policy of 'Go, No-go' regime.
The three coal blocks allotted to the project are -- Meenakshi-A, Meenakshi-B and Meenakshi Dipside.
The preliminary bids would be evaluated and the bidding companies which qualify the criteria set by PFC Consulting -- the wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Finance Corp and also the nodal agency for this UMPP -- would be asked to submit the final bids."It can take anywhere between two to three months for the evaluation of these initials bids and the qualifying companies would be asked to bid during the final round," sources added.
Once the initial bid evaluation is complete, the qualified parties would be mandated to submit the technical and financial bids for the project, based on which the project would be finally awarded to the winner.
The next project for which the initial bids would be invited is likely to be the Sarguja plant in Chhattisgarh. The bids may be invited by the next month-end.
Source- Financial Express