Power Ministry may finalise bidding norms for new projs this week

Power Ministry may finalise the amended bidding guidelines for new electricity generation projects this week, a move that is expected to fast-track the award of new thermal plants.

In an inter-ministerial meeting on June 28, the Ministry of Power is likely to finalise the Standard Bidding Documents (SBDs) for the upcoming thermal power projects, including the ultra mega power projects (UMPPs), sources said.

"In the June 28 meeting hopefully, we would be able to finalise the documents and then take a legal view," a Power Ministry official said. The new norms are likely to address the contentious issue of passing on the increase in raw material price to the end consumer.

Many private power producers have approached the government to allow them to increase tariff of the imported coal-based projects after Indonesia linked its fuel prices to the international market in September last year.

Various private power firms, which source coal from the island nation are now feeling the heat from rise in price of the fuel. Once finalised, the documents will pave way for inviting preliminary bids for UMPPs.

The government proposes to set up two more UMPPs in Orissa, one at Cheyyur in Tamil Nadu and another at Sarguja in Chhattisgarh. The initial bids for setting up a 4,000 MW UMPP at Bedabahal in Orissa were invited in July last year and 20 companies submitted the bids.

The second and final round of bidding can only take place once the new bidding documents are in place. Power Finance Corporation, the nodal agency for UMPPs, has so far allotted four such projects.

Reliance Power has bagged -- Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand) UMPPs. Tata Power is currently executing Mundra UMPP in Gujarat. The government plans to add 90,000 MW capacity by 2017 and these UMPPs are likely to contribute substantially for the same.

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