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Indian government withdraws project approvals

The Indian Government has withdrawn preliminary approval given to two privately promoted hydroelectric projects in Himachal Pradesh. The 231MW Hibra project, promoted by the Dhamwari Power Company, and the 100MW Uhl-III project of Ballarpur Industries, are reported to have made poor progress.

Both projects were allocated to the Indian IPPs by the state government. In principle clearance was given by the Ministry of Power’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to enable the promoters to formulate detailed project reports. However, the reports were not submitted to CEA during the intervening three years, despite periodic time extensions. The Government has ordered the cancellations in consequence. It is expected that the Himachal Pradesh Government will now offer these two projects for global bidding.

In two other similar cases, also in Himachal Pradesh, the Indian promoters have been given a last extension, to 31 December 1999, to submit detailed project reports to CEA. The two projects concerned are the 1000MW Karcham-Wangtoo of the Jaiprakash Group and the Bhilwara Group’s 192MW Allain Duhangan scheme.

This action follows a high level review undertaken by the Indian Ministry of Power to consider IPP progress in the country.