The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s ambitious Rs 1000-crore waste-to-energy project at the Deonar dumping ground, which has failed to attract any bidders so far, is set to receive a Central government grant of 50 per cent of the project cost through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Confident that its association with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project will attract bidders, the BMC is planning to extend the deadline for prospective bidders for the project to November 15.
Senior civic officials said following directions from the urban development department, the BMC submitted the proposal for the project to a high-power committee headed by Chief Secretary Sumit Mullick under the Swachh Bharat scheme.
“The Central government has given its approval and the Deonar project is the only one to be selected from across the country. The project now has the endorsement of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. We have also requested the UD department to nominate one of its members to be present during evaluation of bids,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee. He added that the BMC received the UD department’s sanction for Central assistance on October 5.
Other senior civic officials said 25-odd agencies had expressed interest in the project during the pre-bid meetings held earlier. The officials attributed the failure to attract bids to the uncertainty around management of solid waste in the city. “The project is a high-risk one as the contractor will be held responsible not only for construction of the plant but also generation of electricity and processing of waste. While the tender conditions include incentives, if they are not able to meet the prescribed standards, they will face heavy penalties,” said an official.
He added that power contracts — similar to the Deonar waste-to-energy project — often took long to reach fruition. “International companies interested in the project will have to work in coordination with a local partner which will take some time to work out. We are hoping that three bidders will submit their bids before November 15 so that there is some competition between the bidders,” said the official.
The waste-to-energy plant at Deonar, based on a ‘Design, Build and Commissioning’ model, will have a capacity of processing around 3,000 tonne waste per day and is expected to generate at least 25 MW of electricity. The tender for the project was floated in November last year after making changes to the tendering conditions. No one participated in the bidding process till the last deadline, which expired on September 28.