Coal shortage troubles Bihar's power projects

The development activities to improve power situation in Bihar are facing problems and setbacks, given the sad coal availability that has trapped the country, reports Business Line. The state’s recent bid to build three supercritical power stations of 1,320 MW each, failed due to indifferent response from prospective bidders.

One project got a single successful bid from Lanco Power, while there were no bidders for two projects. However, it could not be awarded due to lack of competition. Bihar is largely dependent on some 1,000 MW of Central supplies and the recently implemented 200 MW power purchase agreements with Adani Power to cater to its eight-crore population.

Bihar is awaiting the reopening of a number of closed state-owned units that are under way. In the meantime, it has floated tenders to build supercritical power stations at Chausa (Buxar), Kajra (Lakhisarai) and Pirpainti (Bhagalpur).

Successful bidders are slated to supply 85% of the generation to the state utility at the agreed tariff. The state government has offered the requisite land, water and other such infrastructure for all the projects. While bidders for the proposed capacities at Kajra and Pirpainti are expected to ensure coal availability, for the Chausa project the Power Ministry recommended elusive “coal linkage”.

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