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NHPC may partner private developers for 4,600MW hydropower projects in India

Hydro generation group could form joint venture with private firms to develop hydropower projects in India state Arunachal Pradesh

Reliance Energy, Jindal Power and KSK Energy Ventures
NHPC could develop 4,600MW Indian hydropower projects in a joint venture with private energy firms

India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) may form a joint venture (JV) with hydropower firms to develop 4,600MW hydropower projects in north-eastern state Arunachal Pradesh, according to reports. Developers could include Reliance Energy, Jindal Power and KSK Energy Ventures, LiveMint has reported.

An anonymous source at NHPC said to LiveMint: “A pre-bid conference was called which saw participation from around seven developers. These three companies were also there. The idea to do a JV is because we are not getting new projects. With money being idle, we can either get into a JV with the private sector or the states. These developers are unable to develop the project on their own.”

Initially, NHPC was solely responsible for building 7,300MW hydropower capacity by developing four projects on Siyom and Subansiri rivers. However, the state government which is controlled by the Congress party was not in favour of NHPC. As a result, these projects were awarded to Reliance Energy Siyom (Siang Middle 1,000MW), Jindal Power (Subansiri Middle (1,600MW), KSK Energy Ventures Subansiri Upper (2,000MW) and Jaiprakash Associates Siang Lower (2,700MW).Most of the companies are now keen on partnering with NHPC to construct the hydropower projects.

According to three anonymous sources at NHPC, Jaiprakash Associates is not keen on partnering with the state owned utility for constructing its 2,700MW hydropower project.

One of the three sources said: “A pre-bid meeting was held sometime back, which was attended by Reliance Energy, JPL and KSK Energy Ventures. These were the same companies which were earlier awarded our projects. Only Jaiprakash Associates didn’t turn up. Setting up hydropower projects requiring various clearances is not an easy task.”

Another source added: “The joint venture will be a one where NHPC will hold a 51 per cent stake.” A spokesperson at Jindal has confirmed the company’s interest in partnering NHPC.

In an e-mail response to LiveMint, a spokesperson said: “Yes, we are interested in developing Kamala the project (formerly Middle Subansiri) in a joint venture with NHPC. DPR of the project was submitted to CEA (Central Electricity Authority) in October 2013. Land acquisition and forest clearance processes started in 2012, and preparation of EIA (environment impact assessment)/EMP (environmental management plan) is in progress.”