The Narendra Modi government is set to give a big push to India’s power capacity addition programme by putting four 4,000 MW ultra-mega projects (UMPPs) up for bidding in its first year in office.
Apart from the UMPPs at Bedabahal in Odisha and Cheyyur in Tamil Nadu, where the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has already initiated the bidding process, two more mega projects are being readied for bidding – one in Bihar and another in Jharkhand in FY15.
While one of the two sites being examined — at Rajouli (Nawada district) and Rajouri (Banka district) — will be selected for a possible UMPP in Bihar, a site at Deoghar in Jharkhand has already been selected for the second UMPP in the state.
“The ministry of coal has been asked to identify urgently coal blocks suitable for UMPPs for Bihar and the second Jharkhand ultra-mega power project. The idea is to get all possible clearances for these projects so that bidding could be initiated at the earliest,” said a power ministry official. The ministry has already included UMPP programme in the to-do-list to be taken up by the next government.
Sources said that UMPP in Bihar has assumed importance after the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections that has given good numbers for the NDA in the state.
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Bihar so far does not have a UMPP and the state government had been pitching for at least one such mega project for quite some time. It is expected that indigenous coal-based project in the state would get its fuel linkage from a nearby mine in Jharkhand, which will also feed the coal requirements of Deoghar UMPP.
If all the four UMPPS are awarded in a space of one year, it would be record of sorts for the country as 16,000 MW of new capacity would get the nods. Ever since the start of UMPP programme way back in 2006, only four projects have been allotted of which three have been bagged by Reliance Power in Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand). The fourth, at Mundra in Gujarat, has been bagged by Tata Power.
The good response for the two UMPPs at Cheyyur and Bedabahal and the good sentiment prevailing in the country after the elections has prompted the power ministry to push two more such projects in a single year. All the nine applicants for Odisha and eight applicants for the TN UMPP have been selected for issuance of Request For Proposal (RFP) to put in their price bids. These include companies such as NTPC, NHPC, Tata Power, Jindal Power, JSW Energy, CLP India, Sterlite.