State-owned power firms may build the two ultra mega power projects in Tamil Nadu and Odisha as the government is not expected to scrap the bids in case a PSU emerges as a sole bidder, sources said. The private firms, which had participated in the first round of bidding for both the projects, withdrew their bids citing difficulties in securing finances for these projects.
As a result, while state-owned NTPC has emerged as the sole bidder for the Tamil Nadu project, NTPC and a NHPC-BHEL joint venture are in the fray for the Odisha UMPP.
"If a public sector company is the only bidder then it is awarded the project. But if a private firm is the sole bidder, the tender is scrapped," the sources said.
The Ministry of Power, on January 5, will take a call on the way forward for these two projects, they added.
The country's largest thermal power producer NTPC has emerged as the sole bidder for the 4,000-MW Cheyyur project in Tamil Nadu. The proposed imported coal-based plant will be constructed at a cost of Rs. 25,000 crore.
Among the private players in the fray were Adani Power, CLP India, Jindal Steel & power, JSW Energy, Sterlite Energy and Tata Power.
The final price bids for a similar 4,000-MW project at Bedabahal in Odisha will be opened on January 7.
Adani Power, CLP India, GMR Energy, Jindal Steel & Power, JSW Energy and Sterlite Energy were among the private companies, and PSUs NTPC and NHPC participated in the first round of bidding for the Odisha plant.
The pithead project is likely to entail an investment of about Rs. 24,000 crore.
The Association of Power Producers (APP), a body representing the private firms, had written to the Power Ministry explaining the private companies' inability in setting up the plants.
APP also said that the DBFOT (design, build, finance, operate and transfer) model is not feasible for these UMPPs.
UMPP is a coal-based power project of 4,000-MW generation capacity.
Source - Hindu