As many as nine power companies including state-run NTPC are in the fray for bidding — slated for Monday — for the fourth 4,000 mega watt ultra mega power project (UMPP) to be commissioned in Tilaiya in Jharkhand.
Private sector firms expected to bid include Anil Ambani’s Reliance Power (which has bagged Sasan in Madhya Pradesh and Krishapatnam in Andhra Pradesh), Tata Power (which bagged Mundra in Gujarat), and Andhra Pradesh-based Lanco. “Jindal power is also bidding for the UMPP,” said the Rajiv Jain, director of the company.
State-run power generation giant, NTPC is also in the running. It failed to bag any of the UMPPs awarded earlier. It is anticipated that this round of bidding would not have too many prospective bidders keeping in view the economic slowdown and funds crunch.
“Those bidding for such capital-intensive project will have to bear in mind the five-year construction period and the next 25 years of its operation in the power generation business,” said a senior power ministry official, when asked if the economic downturn would affect Tilaiya project bidding.
Of the nine UMPPs, the government has so far awarded just three. Tilaiya is the only UMPP for which bids have been invited this year.
The bidding process for UMPPs is moving slowly mainly because of poor site selection. Sources in thePower Ministry, who did not wish to be identified, said the remaining sites that have been identified have not been found “conducive” for UMPPs.