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Power Grid Corp to bid for Rs 1,300-cr contract

Power Grid Corporation of India will be competing for a domestic contract with Indian and foreign rivals for the first time since its inception. The corporation will bid for the Rs 1,300-crore contract, the first after the government in January made it mandatory for state-run companies to compete with private firms for securing power projects. Power Grid has the monopoly over electricity transmission in the country. The company owns and operates about 45% of interstate transmission systems.

The government has decided that future inter-state transmission system schemes would be built by private sector entities. Twenty-eight companies, including Reliance Power, Sterlite Energy , Larsen & Toubro , GMR Energy , Lanco Infratech and JSW Energy , have bid for the project, said a senior official in Rural Electrification Corporation, which is responsible for bidding out the project on build, own, operate and maintain basis. At least five foreign companies , including China`s State Grid Corporation and Spain`s Elecnor, Isolux, Instalaciones Inabensa and Cobra Instalaciones, have submitted technical bids, he said.

Technical bids for the contract for laying two high-capacity transmission lines of 250 km each to connect independent power stations in Vemagiri to Hyderabad were opened on Tuesday. The contract received a good response despite tighter eligibility norms for bidding. The government had about three months ago revised bidding norms for transmission projects. As per the revised norms, a bidder should have experience in setting up an infrastructure project of the same cost as that of the transmission project. Earlier, bidders were required to have set up a project of about a fifth of the size of the transmission project. The government has identified four more high capacity transmission systems to be awarded to private companies.

Power Finance Corporation and Rural Electrification Corporation would conduct bidding for the projects. The two companies have so far awarded six such projects worth Rs 10,860 crore for strengthening of interconnection between north and western region. Vednata Group`s Sterlite Transmission Projects has secured contracts to build three large power transmission links. Reliance Power has bagged two such projects while a consortium of Simplex Infrastructure, Patel Engineering and BS Transcomm has been awarded one contract.