SJVNL top contender for Jangi-Thopan project : The Tribune India

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SJVNL top contender for Jangi-Thopan project

SHIMLA: After the state Cabinet’s approval, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL) is the front-runner to execute the jinxed 960 mw Jangi-Thopan power project on the Satluj in Kinnaur.



Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 21

After the state Cabinet’s approval, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL) is the front-runner to execute the jinxed 960 mw Jangi-Thopan power project on the Satluj in Kinnaur.

The Cabinet, which was chaired by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, today asked the state Multipurpose Power Project Department to negotiate with the SJVNL, the NHPC, the NTPC or others for the project that has been hanging fire for the past 10 years. After Reliance Power rejected the government’s offer, the matter was placed before the Cabinet.

The decision is hailed by power project engineers and experts saying that it was the most viable project and would generate good income for the fund-starved state, which always depends on the Centre for funds.

Even if the SJVNL, NHPC or NTPC show their keenness to execute the project, the state government should seek the highest stake in project, said members of the engineers association.

“We are wondering why Congress and BJP governments were running after private companies whereas the SJVNL, HP Power Corporation and NHPC have the best engineers who have executed big projects like 1,500mw Nathpa-Jhakri power projects that gives crores of revenue to state,” they said.

Though the state MPP Power Department has yet to negotiate with the companies, the SJVNL is set to emerge as the main contender for the project because the Himachal Government has 25 per cent share in the SJVNL-run venture in the country and abroad, including Nepal and Bhutan, and SJVNL gives about Rs 1,000 crore to Himachal on equity basis, 12 per cent free power and other concessions.

All power projects that the SJVNL executes, Himachal would have 25 per cent share in these, revealed an SJVNL official. If the state government chooses to negotiate with the SJVNL to execute the project on MoU basis, the final decision would be taken by the Union Ministry of Power as the SJVNL, the NTPC and the NHPC are governed by the Centre.

The SJVNL will be the main contender as it had asked the state to allot the project to it about five years ago. Himachal had no share in the NHPC-run Parbati II and III, Chamera-I, II, III and NTPC-run 800 mw Kol Dam hence these might not emerge favourite for the state, asserted project engineers.

But Himachal faced uphill task as the Centre had shifted its focus from hydropower to solar and wind energy, which could be tapped in less time. Yet the SJVNL might accept the offer even if Himachal sought more share in this, sources revealed.

The government cancelled the allotment of project to Brakel in 2009. The government had allotted the project to Brakel in 2006, but it did not deposit the upfront premium, revealed sources in the Power Department.

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