Winner of Rs16,000 cr NTPC deal may be known today

State-run National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) India's top power producer, today reopened bidding for equipment worth Rs16,000 crore, mainly comprising 'supercritical' boilers. The process was held up for more than a year after a court challenge.

Three power equipment makers are in the fray. State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd will get orders for five boilers irrespective of the bidding; but may go for more. The others are a joint venture between BGR Energy Systems and Hitachi Power Europe GmbH, and a venture between Larsen & Toubro and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The process of awarding an equipment order for nine NTPC units of 660mw each was delayed after boiler maker Ansaldo Caldaie challenged its disqualification by NTPC on technical grounds.

The Supreme Court on 16 February overturned an earlier verdict of the Delhi High Court in favour of Ansaldo Caldaie, a joint venture between Italy's Ansaldo and Gammon India, and ruled in favour of NTPC, which had rejected the Ansaldo bid two years back on the ground that it would have to outsource some of the technology.

The bidding for the bulk tender closed at around 2:30 pm today; and the name of the lowest bidder may become known today itself, though the actual award of the contract may take a few days.