Ministry identifies power grid lines for private participation

Mumbai: The power ministry has identified nearly a dozen transmission lines that will be awarded to private firms in a competitive bidding process. Power Finance Corporation (PFC), the nodal agency for conducting the tariff-based bidding, would invite expressions of interest (EoI) once the ministry finalises the grid lines, reports quoting official sources said.

This is expected to give a boost to private sector participation in power transmission, which is a relatively new segment for private players.

An empowered committee, a core group of experts set up by the ministry to select transmission projects that would be taken up by private firms, identified the lines.

The identified lines relate to new generation projects that would start operation after about five years. This would ensure that even if a private firm fails to complete the project on time, the government would have enough time to build the line by alternative means.

PFC would set up a special purpose vehicle for transmission projects and the ministry has given the state-owned entity the flexibility to set up either only one SPV or various project-specific SPVs, sources said. EoIs could be invited by the end of this month, sources pointed out.

The SPVs would do the necessary work relating to various statutory approvals and once the bidding process is completed, these SPVs would be transferred to the selected developer.