Torrent set to sign EPC contract for Surat power plant

Vol 8, PW 15 (20 Oct 04) Midstream & Downstream

PETROWATCH learns that over the past two weeks Torrent Power Generation chairman Sudhir Mehta and managing director Markand Bhatt travelled overseas for discussions on the EPC contract with Siemens of Germany and Alstom of France.

Torrent is close to choosing one of these companies as the EPC contractor. The Torrent EPC contract should be signed by the end of this month (October), reveals a source.

Torrents power station will consist of three generating blocks of 350-MW each. Torrent wants construction of the first block within 24 months of the Notice to Proceed, the second block within the next six months and the third block within another six months.

General Electric did not bid for Torrents EPC contract because of its problems at Dabhol. GE is one of the equity holders as well as an EPC contractor at Dabhol and is fighting a legal battle (along with Bechtel) to recover money for past construction work.

GE has decided not to bid for any EPC contract in India till its Dabhol problems are sorted out, adds a source. Till that happens they only want to sell turbines to power projects.

Even that they dont want to do directly but through (state-owned) Bharat Heavy Electricals. Separately, work is going on at Torrent to finalise the fuel supply and services contract for which Torrent received Expressions of Interest by the 15th September deadline.

Individual discussions are being held with natural gas suppliers like British Gas, LNG suppliers and the two LNG regassifiers: Petronet-LNG and Shell Hazira. Torrent wants 1.5m t/y natural gas or LNG for 17 years from early 2008.

Talks with Torrent are at a very advanced stage, one fuel supply services contractor tells this report. Late September, Torrent asked for and received price bids from potential fuel suppliers and service providers.