NALCO plans to bid for Bhedabahal mega power project

New Delhi: State-run integrated aluminium producer NALCO plans to bid for upcoming 4,000 MW ultra-mega power project in Bhedabahal in Orissa, for which requests have to be submitted by August 1, a top company official said.

The company is also scouting for partners for jointly bidding for the Orissa UMPP and has held discussions with other PSUs like NMDC, Neyveli Lignite and BHEL, NALCO Chairman and Managing Director B L Bagra told PTI.

"We will certainly put a bid for the Orissa UMPP. We have had some discussions on it with companies like NMDC, Neyveli Lignite and BHEL for a joint proposal," Bagra said.

He added that a decision on this regard can be taken at a later stage as the Navratna company is qualified for putting up its bid alone.

The 4,000 MW Bhedabahal UMPP, which has got delayed by more than a year due to issues related to environmental clearances for its coal block, has been put on track recently by Power Finance Corporation (PFC) — the nodal governmental agency for setting up UMPPs in the country.

PFC, last week, invited request for qualification (RFQ) for the Orissa UMPP and set a deadline of August 1 for submission of proposals. The bids will be opened on same day.
On June 30, the Environment Ministry gave its clearance for mining in three coal blocks (Meenakshi-A, Meenakshi-B and Meenakshi Dipside), which was allocated to the 4000-MW Bhedabahal UMPP.

Currently four ultra mega power projects are under different stages of construction at Mundra, Sasan, Krishnapattnam and Tilaiya.

Of this, Reliance Power has won three UMPPs, while one ultra mega power plant is being constructed by Tata Power. The mega projects entail to have an investment of Rs 16,000 to Rs 18,000 crore.

Talking about its proposed venture in the power sector, the NALCO Chairman said that the company is considering separate entity for the vertical as a part of long-term growth strategy and has hired a consultant for drawing up its long-term growth road map for the venture.
The company had earlier said that it is looking to set up two subsidiaries one for metals and minerals (other than bauxite and aluminium) and another one for power generation.

"Our target is to get 25 per cent of revenues from non-aluminium business in next five years," Bagra said.

NALCO, which currently has a captive power generation capacity of about 1,200 MW, is also establishing a 50 MW wind power project in Andhra Pradesh at an estimated investment of Rs 274 crore.

For captive power generation, the company has been allocated a coal block in Orissa  Utkal-E which is under the development stage, the NALCO Chairman said.