Legal tangle delays NTPC's order placement of Rs 34,000-cr

Legal tangle delays NTPC's order placement of Rs 34,000-cr

Mired in legal tangle, country's largest power producer NTPC is unable to place equipment orders worth Rs 34,000 crore for four super-critical projects in the country.

The placement of these orders have been stranded since one of the participating bidders -- Ansaldo Caldaie Boilers (ACB) -- approached the court after its bid was rejected by NTPC citing non-fulfillment of minimum criteria in the tender.

Sources said due to the dispute, NTPC has not been able to place orders worth about Rs 34,000 crore for four projects spread across Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The orders were to be placed for two units each of Solapur and Mouda projects in Maharashtra and two units of Meja plant in Uttar Pradesh. Each of these projects have a capacity of 1,320 MW.
Another order was to be placed for three units of 1,980 MW Nabinagar plant in Bihar. All the four projects are slated for the 12th Five-Plan Period (2012-17). According to sources, the issue of NTPC being unable to place these orders was also discussed at a review meeting of the power sector held at the Planning Commission yesterday.

The orders were to be placed as per Cabinet direction in January 2011 and the delay is already hurting the capacity addition plans of NTPC, sources noted. ACB, a subsidiary of Gammon India, first approached the Delhi High Court and now the case is pending in the Supreme Court.

Chennai-based ACB India is a joint venture between Italian boiler manufacturer Ansaldo Caldaie and Gammon India, which holds a 73.4 per cent stake. NTPC had invited tender for supplying a package that includes 11 super-critical boilers and an equal number of super-critical turbines of 660-MW each.

Presently, NTPC has an installed capacity of 36,014 MW. In the 12th Plan period, the company is expected to see a capacity addition of about 66,000 MW. Apart from the four projects, the tender also involved placing orders for two units of Damodar Valley Corporation's 1,320 MW Raghunathpur project in West Bengal.

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