Hindujas revive 1050-MW power plant for Vizag

Vol 13, PW 2 (02 Jul 09) Midstream & Downstream

Never one to give up, the London-based Hinduja Group is dusting off a decade-old plan to set up a 1050-MW coal-fired power plant in Vizag.

But this time, with a difference! Instead of depending on the local state-government owned Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board the new power plant will be a â€کmerchant plant’ selling the bulk of its electricity direct to factories in the vicinity. “We’ll get much better rates than if we sell it to the state government,â€‌ says a source.

“Factories will pay high tariffs for uninterrupted electricity.â€‌ On June 23, Mumbai-based subsidiary Hinduja National Power Corporation released an International Competitive Bidding tender inviting bids for a turnkey EPC contract to build the power station on 1123 acres of land in Pavalavasa village southwest of Vishakapatnam.

Using coal delivered by train from Orissa, project promoters expect to receive 90% of the 5m t/y promised from Coal India that’s needed to fire the plant. When on stream, the plant will sell 25% of its electricity to the Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board and the remaining 75% to anyone else who wants it.

“New electricity legislation allows you to be a â€کmerchant plant’,â€‌ adds a source. “You don’t have to sell to the local electricity board.

â€‌ On May 26, 2003, the Indian parliament endorsed the new Electricity Act, 2003, allowing power generation companies to bypass local electricity boards and sell direct to customers. Hinduja project consultant Mott Macdonald is offering bidders the choice of quoting for up to two units of between 500-MW and 800-MW each.

“In the future we might consider expanding the power station to four units,â€‌ we hear. “It will take between 36 to 40 months to build the first unit.

â€‌ Bechtel, Fluor Daniel, L&T and Mitsubishi are among those expected to show interest. One frontrunner is Indian firm Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL).

“This is the only company that can make â€کboilers’ suited to Indian coal,â€‌ we hear.