Patel Engineering furthers hydropower play
236-mw Duggar project in Himachal Pradesh
By this month-end, Mumbai-based infrastructure player Patel Engineering Ltd is expected to sign a pre-implementation agreement with the Himachal Pradesh
government for the 236-mw Duggar hydropower project. For the civil engineering
company, which is grooming itself into an independent hydropower producer, this
is seen as a major boost. Officials of Patel Engineering told Projectmonitor
that this would be the biggest hydropower project in the company's portfolio and
would also be its first in the northern state, in the capacity of a developer.
After being associated with several hydropower projects as a civil contractor,
Patel Engineering forayed into hydropower development when it won the 100-mw
Gongri hydropower project in Arunachal Pradesh in 2007. Discussing the current
status, officials said that land acquisition for the project was under way and
the project was awaiting techno-economic clearance from Central Electricity
Authority. Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin of Canada is working with the DPR, they added.
Patel Engineering recently also won the medium-sized Saskong project in
Arunachal. Both the projects will be run-of-river projects located in the Tawang
basin. It is also learnt that the topography of the Saskong site could even
support a hydropower scheme of up to 45 mw, although the capacity envisaged in
the MoU signed with the state government was only 7 mw.
The company is also expected to enjoy "logistic" advantages for implementing its
hydropower projects as it is already executing contracts for large hydropower
projects in north and northeast. In Himachal, for instance, the engineering
company is involved with the 412-mw Rampur hydropower project of Satluj Jal
Vidyut Nigam while in Arunachal Pradesh, key contracts are being executed for
the state government-owned 111-mw Sawra-Kuddu project.
The Himachal Pradesh government recently concluded a round of awarding
hydropower projects to private promoters. Along with Patel Engineering,
agreements are also likely to be signed for 12 other projects aggregating around
1,350 mw, mainly in the Satluj and Chenab river basins.
Himachal Pradesh has a hydropower potential of 18,820 mw out of which less than
a third had translated into installed capacity as of August last year. In terms
of potential, it is second only to Arunachal Pradesh that domineers with 50,328
mw. India is estimated to hold nearly 1,50,000 mw of hydropower potential, less
than 25 per cent of which is tapped so far.
[January 26-February 1, 2009]