A total of 21 hydel projects with an installed capacity of 684 MW, which had been stuck for four-six years for want of clarity on the power policy and lack of interest by investors are set for revival. Also, 53 other projects awaiting different clearances from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), apart from those involving local issues, will also be put on fast-track mode by the Himachal Pradesh government.
Additional Chief Secretary (Power) Tarun Kapoor, who also holds environment and forests’ charge, Tuesday held a meeting with senior officials of the department of Energy and Independent Power producers (IPPs) in the wake of policy changes undertaken by the government and shortlisted the projects, between seven MW and 180 MW capacity, for resumption of the work.
“Of total 21, which were taken up for discussions to remove all hurdles,11 projects ( 339 MW) were at the execution stage and 10 others had not made any progress for years. The stalled projects also included 100 MW Sorang, located in Kinnaur district and was allotted to Abu Dhabi based National Energy Company – TAQA. In 2015, the project had suffered a major setback after bursting of the penstock pipe leaving three people dead and causing havoc in the area.
Other stalled projects included Kut (24 MW), Tidong-1 (100 MW), Tangnu-Romsai-I (44), Paudital Lass (24), Roura-II (20 MW), Fozal ( 9 MW), Rajpur (9.( MW), Upper Joiner-II ( 8 MW). Ongoing projects,which will also get the boost included Baoli-Holi (180 MW), Homte ( 24.60 MW), Kuwarsi-II (15),Raura (12 MW), Selti Masrang ( 24 MW), Chanju-II (19.8 MW), Holi-II (7 MW) and Rala (13 MW).
Kapoor said after the changes in the policy some of the investors had already resumed the work while others have also approached the government for expediting the clearances and other approvals for the projects. As many as 22 projects above five MW have already been commissioned to add power generation of 1,965 MW.
The government soon proposes to take up pending and stalled below 5 MW capacity projects, which were allotted to the private investors. The HIMURJA, energy agency, which had handled the allotments of these projects has already issued notices to the private investors. “If these is no satisfactory relies to the notices, the government will cancel the allotments,” he said.
Under the changed policy, the Cabinet has announced to introduce a fixed uniform rate of royalty of 12 per cent for hydro power projects. The two other slabs of 18 per cent royalty and 30 per cent for the projects, were scrapped in a major relief to the investors.
Jangi-Thopan projects get a boost
With three new investors showing interest to take up execution of Jangi-Thopan Powari project (960 MW) project, which had been hanging fire since 2005 after the High Court quashed its allotment to a Netherlands-based company, the state government is likely to make a fresh bid to find an investor. Last year, three public sector companies, NHPC, SJVN and NTPC, had also submitted offers. “We will negotiate with SJVNL as well to see what best offer it gives,” said Kapoor.