West Bengal invites bids for 900 MW Pumped Storage Projects
The West Bengal Power Department has issued an invitation for bids to develop and commission 900 MW pumped storage projects at the Bandu reservoir in Purulia, West Bengal. The project will be divided into four capacities of 225 MW each, with an estimated total cost of Rs 47 billion ($573.6 million).Interested bidders must submit their proposals by August 28, 2023, along with a bid security of Rs 500 million ($6.1 million). The selected bidders will be required to pay an upfront premium of Rs 250,000 ($3,051) per MW within thirty days of receiving the letter of award. Additionally, they must provide a performance security of Rs 500 million ($6.1 million).To be eligible, bidders should have prior experience in financing and operating projects for a public sector entity. They must hold a minimum of 26 per cent equity in the company owning the eligible project for the entire year during which experience is claimed. The project's capital cost should exceed Rs 4.5 billion ($54.9 million), and the bidder should have paid for the project's development (excluding land cost) and generated revenues from users or electricity sales over the last five financial years.Payments received or made in the last five financial years will be considered for calculating the experience score, with payments below Rs 1 billion ($12.2 million) not being included. The bidder's net worth as of the last financial year should be at least Rs 11.25 billion ($137.3 million).In the case of a consortium, members with at least 26 per cent equity share in the special purpose vehicle must collectively meet the technical capacity and net worth eligibility criteria. Each member should maintain a minimum equity share of 26 per cent of the subscribed and paid-up equity and 5 per cent of the total project cost for two years from the project's commercial operation. The financial capacity of the bidder will be assessed based on their standalone financial statements or those of consortium members and associates.Bidders are required to either entrust their operation and maintenance responsibilities to an entity with relevant experience or handle the O&M through qualified and experienced staff. The Ministry of Power has proposed to support pumped hydro storage projects with concessional climate finance, utilising sovereign green bonds for mobilising resources for green infrastructure development, which involves renewable energy charging.Furthermore, the ministry has issued an order waiving inter-state transmission system charges for electricity evacuation from new hydropower projects in the country.