February 13

Major boost for 4 hydro projects worth Rs 45,000 crore

New Delhi: The government expects a big push to hydropower sector having received clearances for four projects worth about Rs 45,000 crore. Last week, the project investment board (PIB) of finance ministry recommended NHPC’s Rs 28,000 crore Dibang project and a proposal to acquire and complete Lanco Infratech’s Teesta VI project worth nearly Rs 5,400 crore, a government official said. NHPC bagged the 500-mw Teesta hydro power plant under insolvency proceedings for Rs 907 crore. The project will require further investments of about Rs 4,500 crore for completion and will now be put before the Union cabinet for approval. NHPC has installed generation capacity of 7071 mw and another 3800 mw under construction. “The hydropower sector was almost written off due to the delays and languishing of the projects. The recent developments will revive investments in the sector.

Also, this is the first time that a government entity has bid for a project and bagged it in NCLT. While bigger PSUs are shying away from bidding in insolvency court, NHPC, a miniratna company with limited financial autonomy, has set precedence,” said a government official. The 2,800-mw Dibang multipurpose project was granted pre-investment approval in November last year. The National Green Tribunal had in its judgment on November 13 dismissed an appeal filed by appellant Pradip Kumar Bhuyan against the government for granting environment clearance to the project. The tribunal upheld the environmental clearance accorded to the project in lower Dibang valley district. The tribunal had in the month of November also rejected an appeal filed by social activists against constitution of a three-member experts committee to study the 2,000-mw Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project on the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The official said NHPC will shortly call bids to award turnkey contracts to build 70-meter high concrete dam on Dibang river. NHPC last week signed MoU with Jammu & Kashmir for 850-mw Ratle hydroelectric project. The project entails an investment of Rs 6,760 crore including interest during construction and will be set up on built, operate, own and transfer model. Presently, NHPC holds 51% in the project. A joint venture was also signed for 624-mw Kiru hydroelectric project entailing an investment of Rs 4,500 crore. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Kiru project last week. The project will be built by Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between NHPC, JKSPDC Ltd and PTC Ltd. Kiru is a run-ofriver scheme that will be located 25 km upstream of the 390-MW Dulhasti Hydroelectric Project on the Chenab river in the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir.

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