Finally, PDC set to take over 850-MW Ratle construction

Govt terminates contract with outside company Waiting for decision on tendering out project, says MD

Muddasir Ali
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jan 13 2018 11:49PM | Updated Date: Jan 13 2018 11:49PM
Finally, PDC set to take over 850-MW Ratle constructionFile Photo

J&K government is all set to handover construction of 850 MW Ratle hydropower project in Chenab region to Power Development Corporation (PDC), three years after an outsider contractor abandoned the project.

“The PDC has been assigned by government as implementation agency to find other mode of execution of the project,” reads the latest economic survey which was tabled by the government in the ongoing budget session.

The project was allotted to Hyderabad based M/s GVK on BOOT (built, own, operate, transfer) basis in 2010 for 35 years however it abandoned the project in July 2014 following controversy over tariff rates. The contractor had also cited “insecure atmosphere” as a reason for leaving the project midway.

An official said the decision was taken recently following termination of the contract with the Hyderabad-based GVK Power and Infrastructure Limited earlier this year. Though GVK won the contract in 2010 it left the work in 2014 due to “controversy over high tariff rates”.

On February 2, 2017 the government finally terminated the contract with the company vide order No. 23-PDD of 2017.

Simultaneously the government engaged a consultant for valuation of the assets created and at the same time enchased Rs 52 crore bank guarantee which was deposited by the contractor, reads the survey.

“The mapping of the assets has been completed. We are now waiting for government to take decision on tendering out of the project and the mode of development of the project,” said managing director PDC, Shah Faisal.

Coming up on River Chenab at Drabshala in Kishtwar, the project was scheduled for completion in 2017 at a cost of Rs 6000 crores. However three years of delay has not only led to its cost escalation but would also result in loss of energy as project construction would now stretch beyond 2020.

The Ratle has been termed as “one of the most viable and doable projects” by experts. It is the first hydroelectric project which was given for implementation through tariff based international competitive bidding in which PDC will get 15 percent generation as royalty and enjoy first right to purchase for 55 percent generation at the rate of Rs 1.44/unit.