Four companies, including staterun Power Grid Corporation of India, have bid for two transmission projects, Gadarwara A and B, worth Rs 6,000 crore even as seven other pulled out of the bids after showing interest. Industry executives said that the bids for transmission projects are increasingly becoming very competitive and has discouraged several domestic and international players.
"Eleven companies had shown initial interest in the projects. But we believe that many pulled out as they have limited investment and working capital availability right now. There are projects coming up in other sectors, too, so they may have chosen to bid for them over these projects," said a senior executive from Rural Electrification Corporation, the nodal agency for these projects.
The four companies to bid for these projects at the end of the deadline were PGCIL, Essel Infra, Sterlite Grid and Adani Group. The Gadarwara A and B transmission lines would primarily be used to evacuate electricity generated at NTPC's power plant at Gadarwara in Narsinghpur district in Madhya Pradesh. The bid winner will be announced later this month.
Industry executives said that some of the other bidders pulled out anticipating aggressive bids by PGCIL, which bid 40-70% lower and bagged two projects last year — Unchahar Transmission and transmission projects under Northern Region Strengthening System for the northern grid.
"PGCIL's aggressive bids have not only discouraged serious Indian infrastructure players but also kept foreign investors away. For Gadarwara A and Gadarwara B, European developers Isolux Corsan and Inabensa preferred not to bid after surveying the Indian market," an industry executive said.