31 May 2019: NHPC’s takeover plan of Lanco Teesta Hydro Power’s beleaguered hydro power unit in Sikkim Teesta-VI (500 MW) is facing hiccups, after approval from the Cabinet.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which approved the bid of NHPC, will hear the matter again over the issue of escalated cost.
A senior executive said the plant suffered damages during the course of matter in the NCLT. “The amount totals to Rs 9 crore which is not that much but changes the offer amount. So, NCLT will hear the case again and approve the revised cost in July,” he said.
NHPC emerged the highest bidder with a bid amount of Rs 907 crore. The investment proposal for an estimated cost of Rs 5,748.04 crore was approved by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) in March 2019. “The project would be completed in five years. The cost is estimated at close to Rs 11 crore per MW but due to abundant water, the tariff would turn out to be Rs 4.7 KwH,” Balraj Joshi, chairman and managing director, NHPC, had said.
The project was being developed by Lanco. Owing to financial crunch in the company, the project was not completed as per scheduled. The insolvency resolution process was initiated in the NCLT against the project.
NHPC executives said Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand have given in-principle nod for buying power from Teesta-VI.
However, an earlier agreement with Maharashtra is also posing a problem. Maharashtra State Electricity Development Corporation (MSEDCL) moved the state electricity regulator to terminate its power purchase deal with Teesta-VI. “The case doesn’t stand as Lanco had terminated the contract already before the project landed in NCLT,” said an NHPC executive.
NHPC is also looking at more stressed hydro units but only through the NCLT route.
“JAL Power in Sikkim and Demwe in Arunanchal Pradesh are some of the projects which the company is looking at. Demwe is in NCLT and we are looking at it. We will evaluate JAL whenever the expression of interest is issued by the insolvency professional,” said executives.