Fresh bids for the ultra mega power project (UMPP) proposed at Bhedabahal near Sundargarh are set to be invited by September this year as the Union power ministry hopes to finalise the revised standard bidding documents (SBDs) for UMPPs within 15 days.
The decision was taken at a meeting convened on Tuesday by the Union power ministry to take stock of status of UMPPs.
“The Union power ministry has said that rebidding for Bhedabahal UMPP would be initiated by September. The ministry also decided to have a re-look at two more UMPPs proposed at Bijoypatana in Bhadrak district and Narla in Kalahandi districts, both of which were shelved though they were identified as potential sites in 2012. Apart from Odisha, the ministry approved two more UMPPs one each in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh”, said Hemant Sharma, special secretary (energy), Odisha and chairman cum managing director at Gridco.
Bankhui coal block has already been allocated for the Bijoypatana UMPP while the central power ministry will move the Coal ministry, seeking allocation of Ghogarpalli block for the Narla UMPP, he said. In December last year, the Union power ministry decided to cancel the bidding process for Odisha and Tamil Nadu UMPPs. The bidding process was initiated in 2012. The ministry instead, decided to have a re-look at the SBDs and constituted a committee for the purpose.
The power ministry’s decision to revise the SBDs stemmed from the pull-out of the private players from the bidding process. Adani Power Ltd, CLP India Ltd, Jindal Power Ltd, JSW Energy Ltd, Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T), National Hydro Power Corporation Ltd (NHPC), NTPC Ltd, Sterlite Infraventures Ltd and Tata Power Ltd had initially responded to applications of Odisha Integrated Power Ltd (OIPL), a subsidiary floated by Power Finance Corporation (PFC) for Bhedabahal UMPP.
Private players, in prior communications with the ministry of power, had raised concerns on the design, build, finance, operate, and transfer (DBFOT) model for the UMPP. They argued that under the DBFOT model, the risk was not distributed equitably as all losses go to the power producer while gains are appropriated by the procurer.
On revision of terms of SBDs, Sharma said, “The clauses relating to fixing responsibility on the host state over land acquisition and rehabilitation & resettlement (R&R) have been significantly diluted. Now, a decision has been taken that bidding would be done only for those UMPPs where substantial progress has been achieved on critical parameters.”
The Bhedabahal UMPP needs 3246 acres land in all that includes 2733 acres private land, 444 acres government land and the rest 69 acres revenue forest land. Total cost of procuring land has been worked out at Rs 718 crore. Compensation of up to 91 per cent has been disbursed to the affected families. Meenakshi, Meenakshi-B and dip side of Meenakshi coal blocks have been allocated for the 4000 Mw UMPP. The annual requirement of fuel for the Bhedabahal UMPP has been estimated at 19-20 million tonne of coal.
Central PSU Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL) has been assigned the job of carrying out detailed exploration of the coal blocks and preparation of the geological report.