Special Correspondent

This is the third ultra mega project that RPL has won

Project entails Rs. 18,000 crore investment

It will have a 70:30 debt equity ratio

NEW DELHI: Scoring a hat trick, Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Power Ltd. (RPL) bagged the 4,000 MW Tilaiya Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Jharkhand beating rivals such as Sterlite Energy, Jindal Power and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in the final bids that were opened on Wednesday.

The pre-qualified bids were opened by the nodal agency Power Finance Corporation here and RPL’s bid of Rs. 1.77 paise per unit was found to be the lowest. While NTPC had quoted a bid of Rs. 2.35 paise, Jindal Power had quoted Rs. 2.60 paise and Sterlite Energy Rs. 2.90 paise. Lanco Infratech had withdrawn from the race before the opening of the bids.

A high-level committee, which includes State representatives from Bihar and Jharkhand, selected the developer. The financial and technical bids for the coal-based thermal project were invited on December 29, 2008, and the final financial bids were to be opened within 15 days. The bidding process for the UMPP had been delayed due to various reasons, including the global slowdown.

Apart from the delays in bidding, the Tilaiya UMPP faced loss of time in identifying the site, getting the water source and obtaining other regulatory clearances, including issues pertaining to acquisition of land for the project. The project entails an investment of around Rs. 18,000 crore and will have a debt equity ratio of 70:30. Tilaiya is the fourth UMPP to be awarded to a developer.

Earlier, two UMPPs bagged by Reliance Power included Sasan in Madhya Pradesh and Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Tata Power had bagged the Mundra UMPP in Gujarat. The financial closure for Tata Power’s Mundra project has been completed.