The government of West Bengal in India has transferred ownership of four hydro projects with a combined capacity of 293 MW to National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, news agencies are reporting.
The four projects, all in the District Darjeeling, are 80-MW Teesta Low Dam-V, 81-MW Teesta Low Dam I & II, 84-MW Teesta Intermediate Stage, and 48-MW Rammam Stage-I. All four projects are in various stages of implementation, according to West Bengal Power Minister Manish Gupta. Previously, these projects were owned by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, the West Bengal government-run power agency.
The transfer occurred because “We believe NHPC, being a specialized large player, is better equipped technically and financially to take these projects forward,” Gupta said.
The West Bengal government, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited and NHPC signed a memorandum of agreement early in July to execute the transfer. According to the agreement, all shall be developed on a build, own, operate and maintain basis.
The development of these four projects will ease the power scenario in West Bengal and help in infrastructure development of the area, according to NHPC. NHPC has already commissioned the 132-MW Teesta Low Dam-II project in the district, and work on the 160-MW Teesta Low Dam-IV is expected to be complete in 2016.
Reports indicate there is a movement afoot to merge all central hydropower companies in the Narenda-Modi region with NHPC. This would include Tehri Hydro Development Corporation, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation. In addition, NTPC may consider transferring its hydro projects to NHPC. NTPC is building 1,500 MW of hydro.
To date, NHPC has commissioned 18 hydropower stations with a total capacity of 4,987 MW, as well as two stations with a capacity of 1,520 MW in a joint venture with the government of Madhya Pradesh.