NHPC expects forward movement on mega Northeast hydropower projects

New Delhi: NHPC, India’s state-owned hydropower producer, is hoping to quickly ramp up generation capacity in the Northeast on the back of a slew of approvals for large projects received recently.

This includes the 500-megawatt (MW) Teesta-VI project in Sikkim, the 2,880-MW Dibang multipurpose project in Arunachal Pradesh and the 2,000-MW Lower Subansiri project located at the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

“Doors are now open for projects in Northeast, particularly Arunachal Pradesh that has a hydropower potential of around 50,000 MW,” said Balraj Joshi, chairman and managing director at a media interaction last week.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved NHPC’s bid for Lanco Teesta Hydro Power for Rs 897.50 crore under the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process. The project will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 5,748.04 crore.

“Once completed, the 500-MW Teesta-VI project would generate 2,400 million units of power in 90 per cent dependable year. The project will be completed in about five years and the levelised tariff is expected to be Rs 4.07 per unit,” the company said in a statement.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had last month approved the 2,880-MW Dibang project in Arunachal Pradesh at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore. On completion, the project will be the country’s largest storage-based hydoelectric project. It will supply power at a tariff of Rs 4.64 per unit after completion in nine years.

The company also said another roadblock has been cleared in the development of the 2,000-MW Subansiri Lower project with the National Green Tribunal upholding the expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. “The project will be commissioned within four years after the restart of work. The levelised tariff will be Rs 5.86 per unit,” NHPC said.

Joshi said the government’s latest move to allow re-classifying medium and large hydropower projects in the renewable energy category will ease financing for such projects and also help the country meet its green energy targets.


By Anshul Joshi