The US Export-Import Bank on Wednesday approved a loan of $ 917 million (Rs 4,300 crore) to Reliance Power for buying mining equipment for its coal-fired power project in Sasan, Madhya Pradesh, from an American supplier.
The US Congress has 35 days to review the deal before the bank approves finally a deal opposed by environmental groups such as the San Francisco-based Pacific Environment for promoting "dirty" coal-fired power plants.
The Anil Ambani-led RPower's 3,960 MW Sasan project is among the four ultra mega power plants (UMPP) already awarded in the country. RPower will use mining equipment bought from Bucyrus, a Wisconsin company.
About $400 million of the financing will be used to buy Bucyrus mining equipment, which will help support 1,000 jobs, said Bloomberg, a business and financial news service, quoting a statement from the bank.
Text messages to both the Exim bank and Bucyrus were not immediately returned.
RPower's application for a loan guarantee was rejected in June by the bank, a federal government agency, because of environmental concerns.
But RPower came back with a proposal to set up a facility to generate 250 MW of electricity using clean renewable energy.
This greened the deal adequately enough for the bank to change its mind, and it approved a "preliminary review" of the project in July, pending a final review and approval, on Wednesday.
"We are pleased that Reliance is making this commitment to renewable energy, which allows us to sustain US jobs and promote both conventional and renewable energy exports," Exim Bank Chairman and President Fred P Hochberg had said in July.
Environmental groups have opposed the project and alleged that it was cleared under political pressure.
About the final approval, Pacific Environment said, "Sasan alone will be responsible for 26 to 27 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually - one fifth of all proposed coal fired power plants in the US combined."