Odisha Power Transmission Project gets tepid response

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The Rs 2,596-crore ‘common transmission system’ for power generation projects in Odisha saw three out of six qualified companies pull out of the bidding. This is among the eight key power transmission projects to be tendered during FY16.

After the pullout of three firms, including PowerGrid Corporation, three firms —Sterlite Grid, Adani Power Transmission and Essel Infra — are in the race for the project, which will be awarded through the tariff-based competitive bidding (TBCB) route. Kalpataru Power and Gayatri Projects did not participate.

The project is aimed at evacuating power from power generation project of Odisha Power Generation Corporation with capacity of 1,320 Mw. This transmission line is part of the consortium of the eight corridors earmarked to be awarded through TBCB, entailing a total investment of Rs 26,000 crore.

  • The Common Transmission System (II) for generation projects in Odisha, 400-km line costing Rs 2,596 cr (estimated)

  • 3 out of 6 qualified bidders pull out of further bidding for the project

  • Adani Transmission, Sterlite Grid and Essel Infra in race

  • Private companies continue to shy away from competitive bidding, citing lack of level-playing field in transmission

  • Second instance of state-owned PowerGrid pulling out of bidding

  • 8 key transmission lines to be bid out in FY16, 5 already tendered

Union Minister for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal had said earlier this year that an opportunity worth Rs 1 lakh crore projects would be opened up for the transmission sector this year.

The response from the private sector to projects under TBCB has been tepid all year round. Leaving the big names — Adani Power, Sterlite Grid, Essel Infra and PowerGrid —all major players have either not participated or pulled out after qualifying.

Experts, however, point out that lack of level-playing field in the power transmission sector is pushing out major players. PowerGrid has 98 per cent share in the transmission market, which participates in TBCB apart from getting projects in nomination, executives said.  

Five transmission projects have been bid out already this year with Adani Transmission winning three in Chhattisgarh and Sterlite Grid, PowerGrid and Kalpataru winning one each.

Earlier this year, the power minister, Piyush Goyal, had said that projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore would be opened up for transmission during the year.

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