SRINAGAR: In a significant decision, the Public Investment Board (PIB), in the Ministry of Finance, Government of India has recommended that the 850 MW Ratle HEP be developed through a Joint Venture company (JVC) between the JK Power Development Corporation (JKPDC) and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
The PIB has also recommended an investment approval for Rs 5281.94 crore for the project including an Infusion of Equity of Rs. 808.14 crore by NHPC in the Joint venture company. The equity contribution of JKPDC in the company pegged at Rs. 776.44 crore will be provided as grant from the Government of India.
The recommendations of the PIB will pave the way for final approval of the project and an early beginning of work on the project. It may be recalled that 850 MW Ratle HEP was the first project in India which was awarded through tariff-based bidding. However, the project was stalled due to the unilateral withdrawal by the erstwhile developer from the Project. All the clearances for the project are already in place and the project is expected to be completed within 36 months of the start of work. The initiation of the project will be yet another step in adding to the revenues of the UT from its abundant hydro resources.
It may be recalled that although a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed among J&K Power Development Department, J&K State Power Development Corporation Limited and NHPC Limited on 3rd Feb, 2019, regarding the execution of the project in JV mode, yet the matter had remained pending for want of a final decsion on the mode of execution. The government of J&K had been consistently arguing for exceution of the work in the JV mode as agreed in the Feb 2019 MoU.
J&K has over 20,000 MW of hydro power potential, out of which 16000 MW has been identified. With the PIB decision, J&K would have moved another step closer to harnessing nearly 2500 MW of this potential. While the 1000 MW Pakaldul project and 624 MW Kiru are already under exceution by Chenab Valley Power Project Private Limited (CVPPL), a Joint Venture of JKSPDC, NHPC and PTC India limited, the 540 MW Kawar is likely to be taken up shortly.
Now that the decks have been cleared for the 850 MW Ratle project too to come up after incorporation of Joint Venture company i.e Jammu Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited, an additional 3000 MW will be available to supplement the demand-supply position in J&K and boost the overall economy of the UT.