The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dabhol Power gets new lease of life

New Delhi, Nov. 12: Union power minister Ananth Geethe today finally persuaded financial institutions and the two stakeholders in Dabhol Power Corporation—GE and Bechtel—to agree to a proposal to sell power from the utility to the Maharashtra government at Rs 2.80 per unit.

The deal was clinched at an hour-long meeting here today where the stake-holders and the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) decided to restart the Dabhol power project. The plant, closed ever since DPC’s biggest shareholder—Enron Corporation of the US—went bust, will be operated by state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

“We have asked NTPC to begin inspection of the plant as an agreement has been reached with IDBI on a tariff of Rs 2.80 per unit at which the Maharashtra government will buy power from Dabhol,” power ministry sources said.

Officials who attended the meeting said while GE and Bechtel expressed some reservations their concerns were also addressed at the meeting.

A team of officials from the power ministry, NTPC, IDBI and GE and Bechtel has been set up to examine the technical aspects of the plant and machinery that has been lying idle for more than 18 months.

“The expert committee is expected to give its report within a week. Once that comes through, the project can be restarted. We expect the whole process to be completed within this year. It should not take more than a year to start the project once the formalities are completed,” a senior ministry official said.

IDBI and the Maharashtra State Electricity Board will first have to submit the tariff proposal to the Maharashtra State Electricity Regulatory Commission to seek its approval.

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