Goyal to meet bankers on Monday; discuss bottlenecks

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In a bid to restore investor confidence in electricity generation sector, Power Minister Piyush Goyal will meet bankers on Monday to discuss the financing bottlenecks affecting the industry and the way forward.

Goyal's meeting with the bankers may touch upon the key issues of delayed regulatory clearances which led to banks and other financial institutions shying away from investing in the sector.

"I will meet with the bankers on Monday to resolve the conflicts between the power sector borrowers and the banking sector and find a way forward to resolve their problems," the Minister said.

He that the problems faced by the bankers have been due to factors beyond the control of investors or companies in these sectors.

As many as six of the 9 companies which submitted their initial bids for the two proposed ultra mega power projects in Tamil Nadu and Odisha have requested the government to revise the bidding norms.

Many power companies, including Adani, CLP, GMR, Jindal Steel & Power, JSW Energy and Tata Power are reluctant to submit price bids under the new bidding documents saying the projects are not economically viable.

All the nine bidders have submitted the initial bids for the two UMPPs and are yet to submit the price bids.

The standard bidding documents or the SBDs were relaxed by the government last year in order to attract developers.

UMPP is coal-based thermal power project that has 4,000 MW generation capacity. State-run Power Finance Corporation facilitates the bidding for UMPPs in the country.

So far, 4 UMPPs have been awarded, of which Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand) have been bagged by Reliance Power. Tata Power is operating the Mundra UMPP in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, Goyal is also scheduled to meet the Minister of Environment and Forests Prakash Javdekar this week to deliberate upon the issues impacting the power and coal sectors.

"There are certain issues with regard to environment policy which we are trying to push with the Ministry of Environment and Forests," Goyal said.

Power Ministry has also requested the Environment Ministry to allow additional mining from coal mines which are already operational to help ease the fuel shortage faced by the electricity generators.

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