The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM,), headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, will meet on July 25 to take a call on fresh bidding norms for ultra mega power projects (UMPPs).

“If the norms are approved, the process of invitation of bids for the proposed UMPPs is likely to pick up pace. The EGoM is meeting to give its approval for the new standard bidding documents that would clear the way for new mega power projects,” a senior Power Ministry official said.

For the UMPPs, the government has made a provision for making fuel source available in advance. UMPPs are coal-based projects with an average capacity of 4,000 MW. The new bidding norms will apply to Case-I and II projects.

Case-I projects are those where developers have the choice to decide on location, fuel and technology to be used. In Case II, the location of the project and fuel to be used are decided ahead of the competitive bidding.

Proposed projects

A decision is expected to speed up the process of inviting bids for the proposed UMPPs in Chhattisgarh (Sarguja), Odisha (Bedabahal) and Tamil Nadu (Cheyyur).

The government has so far allotted four UMPPs, of which three have been bagged by Reliance Power — Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand). Tata Power has already commissioned the Mundra UMPP in Gujarat.