Reliance Power has bagged the Krishnapatnam ultra mega power project (UMPP) by bidding to supply power at an average of Rs 2.33 per unit.
Krishnapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh, is the third in the line of nine such 4,000 Mw projects conceived by the government to fast-track power capacity addition.
This was much lower than the other two bids received, from Larsen &Toubro (which bid Rs 2.68 per unit) and Sterlite (which bid Rs 4.18 per unit), officials said.
This is the second ultra mega power project of 4,000 Mw for Reliance Power — an Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group company — which is also constructing the Sasan ultra mega power plant in Madhya Pradesh.
While Krishnapatnam is based on imported coal, Sasan is a pithead coal project.
The other imported coal based ultra mega project — located at Mundra in Gujarat — is being built by Tata Power.
The unit price quoted by Reliance for the Rs 16,000 crore project is only marginally higher than Tata's winning bid of Rs 2.26 per unit for the Mundra project last year, though international coal prices have gone up over 60 per cent during the period.
Industry officials were expecting the price bid for Krishnapatnam to be upwards of Rs 2.50.
"This augurs well for consumers who will get power at competitive rates," said power secretary Anil Razdan. This will also have a positive rub-off on future projects, he added
Officials said that the formal Letter of Intent for the Krishnapatnam project — which will feed power to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka — will be issued in the next few days.
Though nine companies had qualified to bid for the project, only three put in a price bid. Large players like NTPC stayed away from bidding as they could not secure long term supplies of coal at competitive prices.
Essar Power, D S Construction, Japan's Sumitomo Corporation and the CLP-GMR combine were some of the other bidders who opted out of the race.
Ultra mega projects mandate the use of "supercritical" technology which is more efficient in the use of coal and also cuts down on emissions.
Source : business-standard.com
ULTRA MEGA PROGRESS
1> Mundra (Gujarat) — awarded to Tata Power in December 2006
2> Sasan (Madhya Pradesh) — awarded to Reliance Power in August 2007
3> Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) — Reliance Power emerges lowest bidder today
4> Tilaiya (Jharkhand) — Bids to be invited next week
5> Five more projects in the pipeline at Girye (Maharashtra), Cheyyur (Tamil Nadu), Tadri (Karnataka), Akaltara (Chhattisgarh) and in Orissa