B. S. Satish Kumar

  • Government has offered global invitations for Expression of Interest
  • Power plants planned in Mysore and Belgaum districts and Jewargi in Gulbarga district

    BANGALORE: Karnataka is opening up the power generation sector to private players on a massive scale. In a major effort towards capacity addition to the State power grid, the Government has offered global invitations for Expression of Interest (EoI) from power generating companies to set up three coal-based power plants in Karnataka with a capacity of 1,000 MW each.

    The generating companies will be asked to set up power plants at Chamalapura in Mysore district, Ghataprabha in Belgaum district and Jewargi in Gulbarga district.

    These power projects with a total capacity of 3,000 MW will have to be developed on Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis, according to a notification issued on February 22 regarding invitation of EoI.

    Interestingly, these projects were earlier scheduled to be developed by the State-owned Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL). The decision to offer them to the private sector has raised eyebrows as the KPCL is rated as one of the best power project implementing agencies in the country. The cause for concern is that private generation will lead to high user charges that the consumer will have to bear.

    But sources in the Government referred to the financial constrains of the KPCL as one of the main reasons for the decision to offer these projects to the private sector.

    However, if there was no proper response from private companies, then the KPCL itself might be entrusted with the responsibility of implementing these projects, the sources said. The above projects also include the tie-ups for getting coal and also transportation of coal to the project site. March 30 is the last date for the companies to submit EoI.

    A bidders' conference is also being organised in Bangalore in the second week of March.

    At present, Karnataka has three independent power producers Tanir Bavi Power Company Limited, Rayalaseema Power Company and Tata Power Company while the Nagarjuna Power Company is scheduled to set up its plant. However, the capacity of the proposed plants would be higher than the combined capacity of the existing IPPs in the State.