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!

Power Watch India - - COVER STORY -

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.

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