Tamil Nadu

Udangudi power project not for now

The Board of Directors of TNEB Limited on Wednesday deferred the decision to award contract for 1,320-MW Udangudi thermal power project.

With the present tender mired in uncertainty for months, the Board met on Wednesday to take a call on whether to award the contract despite limited participation or float a fresh tender.

“There is open war between the two current participants in the tender [BHEL and an Indo-Chinese consortium],” said a senior official in the power utility. The two firms are already locked in a legal dispute over another super critical power project in Ennore and the case is pending in the Madras High Court.

“We are going to be accused of illegality, no matter which company is awarded the contract,” the official said. As a result, no decision has been taken though the present tender was opened nearly four months ago.

In the meantime, a proposal to cancel the present tender and float a fresh tender also cropped up at the Board meeting, sources said.

Since finalising a power project contract takes nearly two years on average, there was opposition from ex-officio directors to annul the tender “without valid reasons” since it would set the clock backwards.

“Finally, the Board decided not to award the contract now and ask the consultant more details,” said a source.

The Udangudi thermal power project proposed to come up in Tuticorin district was envisioned by the then DMK government in 2007. Since then, despite the State’s precarious power situation, the project has missed multiple deadlines.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 8:04:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/udangudi-power-project-not-for-now/article6884641.ece

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