Invite Fressh bids for Rajpura thermal project:PSERC


Chandigarh, May 27
The Punjab government’s move on single bid for 1320 mega watt Rajpura thermal project today suffered setback with the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) directing the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to invite fresh bids for the Rs 5,000-crore project.
The state government wanted to award the project to Lanco Infratech Limited. This included clearance from the state cabinet and convening of a special meeting of the PSEB, which decided to approach the Regulatory Commission to award the project to Lanco.
The PSEB submitted to the Regulatory Commission that a negotiating committee headed by the Chief Secretary had to bring down tariff of Rs 3.38 quoted by Lanco in its bid toRs 3.30 per unit. The board had maintained that it was difficult to go in for rebid, which would take nine months as per the Mnistry of Power stipulations, and there was no guarantee of lower bid for the project due to changed market conditions.
A meeting of the Regulatory Commission today ruled tariff being quoted by Lanco was on the higher side and rates were not justified. It said if competitive bidding was to take place the board must go for rebid. The commission has left the option of undertaking the project to the PSEB itself.
The PSERC has, however, taken into account likely delay, if the board goes in for rebid process of nine months, as is the present norm. The commission has allowed the rebid process to be conducted in two and a half months to ensure the project is not delayed.
Meanwhile, the PSEB Engineers Association has demanded the project be executed through state funding. Association president HS Bedi said all clearances had been obtained and the PSEB had to arrange equity of Rs 300 crore per year. Bedi said the PSEB could easily commission first unit in 42 months from the date of go-ahead.
On an earlier bid process, the association president maintained that the principle of competitive bidding was not followed. He said the date of submission of bid was not extended even once and even the negotiated rate for the project was 44 paisa higher than the bid rate of the Talwandi Sabo project given to Sterlite.

Source:The Tribune

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