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Home News Power Sector News Centre once again support Reliance and defends Sasan bid in Delhi HC

Centre once again support Reliance and defends Sasan bid in Delhi HC

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Delhi High CourtThe Union government has challenged Tata Power’s right to question the tendering process of Sasan ultra mega power project. The government, in its affidavit submitted in the Delhi High Court, has said that Tata Power had no locus standi as it had moved out of the tender process mid-way. It has also alleged that the company was “suppressing” facts in its petition challenging the tendering process that awarded the 4,000-mw Sasan ultra mega power project to Reliance Power (RPL).

Tata Power has, in its petition, has alleged that the post-bid concession of allowing RPL to utilise the surplus coal in the Sasan captive blocks for another RPL project vitiated the bid process. People close to the petitioner who are in the know of developments said Tata Power’s contention is that the tone and tenor of the tender conditions with regard to the coal mine and the surplus available did not give any indication that the surplus coal could be used in some other project.

Further, they claimed that the surplus coal should be used for existing power plants of NTPC which are running below capacity due to non-availability of requisite coal.

The government affidavit, however, says that most captive miners are aware that any surplus coal available in the captive mines could be disposed of after obtaining permission from central government, “...on such terms and conditions as the central government would impose which could also include the use of coal for another project in public interest.”

Citing the example of two captive mines allocated to Tata Power, Tubed and Mandakini, the affidavit claims Tata Power itself has coal blocks where government has allowed surplus coal to be used in other projects. “..coal from the coal block can be used for purposes other than the purpose for which the coal block has been allocated with the approval of the central government,” the affidavit says.

According to people close to RPL, the government has ensured judicious use of the fuel and has taken consumer interest into account by insisting that power generated with the surplus coal from this block will mandatorily be sold under competitive tariff bidding.

RPL was awarded the Sasan project and obtained, subsequent to the tender, the government’s permission to utilise surplus coal in the captive blocks assigned to the Sasan project for another RPL project coming up in MP.

In its petition, Tata Power has sought the high court’s direction to cancel the award of Sasan project to RPL and re-tender it with permission to divert coal from captive coal blocks. The court will continue hearing from February 24.

Source - Economic Times

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