The government needs to realise that grid stability can only be achieved through the development of hydro plants as hydro can take over the shortfall of electricity generation when the sun goes down or when the wind doesn’t blow!
from south Asian countries, Brazil, US, amongst others. The accumulation of non-performing assets has become so serious that investors are totally shying away.
What is the current status of the Shongtong Karchham run-of-the-river hydropower plant in Himachal Pradesh, for which Andritz is providing the equipment?
Shongtong Karcham is a very prestigious project for the state of Himachal Pradesh. We are very happy to be associated with this project and have our priority set in executing it. Currently, we are ahead of schedule in its execution even though there are delays on account of the civil works.
Has small hydro also become stagnant?
Yes, there are hardly any tenders or inquiries coming from India; it is only the neighbouring countries that are showing some interest. We are doing a lot of projects in Nepal and Bhutan. Last year, Bhutan floated a tender which was open to manufacturers from across the world. But, with regard to Bhutan’s contracts to India, there is a bilateral agreement between India and the Royal Government of Bhutan that the supplies for the projects would only be from Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL).
This further restricts international players like us who are manufacturing in India, and hampers fair competition. It is now a matter that completely depends on the Bhutan government’s perspective. Even they are aware that the involvement of companies like Andritz would be a welcome change in their country’s hydro power scenario.
Is there sufficient engagement of hydro players like you in the discussions that concern policy reforms for the hydro sector?
Barring one or two occasions that involved general presentations, we haven’t been invited for any major discussions related to the policies for the hydro sector. Though we are aware that the government had recently held discussions with IPPs who have licenses to develop projects in Arunachal, we are not aware of the outcome.