According to reports from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India the Himachal state cabinet on Aug. 5 decided to re-award a contract for the US$1.85 billion 960-MW Jhangi-Thopan-Powari hydroelectric project to Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra).
In 2006, the Himachal Pradesh government first awarded the contract through a competitive bid process to Netherlands-based Brakel Corp. Brakel invested about US$36 million to begin developing the site on the Satluj River basin in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.
But, published reports indicate Himachal state cabinet cancelled the allocation based on court rulings that Brakel misrepresented project details in its in pre-bid documents.
RInfra was second-place in 2006 for the bid. When government officials decided to withdraw the allocation to Brakel, RInfra filed suit to stop a new bidding process. The Aug. 5 decision to award RInfra the project makes the court filing moot.
“The cabinet agreed to allot 960-MW Jhangi-Thopan-Powari hydel project to M/S Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. (It was) further decided that if Reliance Infrastructure does not accept the offer, the project may be advertised afresh for biding,” the state cabinet said in a statement.
Himachal Pradesh has identified hydro potential of 27,436 MW of which only 9,433 MW has been harnessed by various agencies, including 487 MW by Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd.