In a bid to cut down its massive Rs 33,000 crore of energy bill, Indian Railways has fastracked efforts to commission its 1,000 Megawatt captive power plant in Bihar and sourcing more electricity through the competitive bidding route.
“The first 250 Megawatt unit of the Nabinagar power plant will be commissioned by the end of current fiscal. We have already invested Rs 5,000 crore in setting up the project and the rest Rs 1,000 crore will be invested in the next one year,” Member-Electrical at the Railway Board Naveen Tandon told media persons.
He added the project, when fully commissioned, would supply power to railways at economical rates and added the Rail Ministry has speeded up efforts to set up the second such captive plant at Adra in West Bengal.
Tandon also informed the ministry will soon complete the process of selecting the successful bidder for its plan to source 585 Mw power through competitive bidding. Indian Railways had last month signed an agreement with Adani Power for purchasing 50 Mw power at Rs 3.69 per unit under its new policy of competitive bidding-based procurement, dropping its earlier practice of sourcing electricity through distribution utilities.
Another rail ministry official who was present on the occasion – International Summit on Energy Efficient Technologies – informed 44 firms had responded to the ministry’s Request for Qualification (RFQ) for supply of 585 Mw power.
Tandon also said the Rail Ministry may look at issuing green bonds in order to fund its clean energy and energy efficiency focussed initiatives. He said the ministry is moving away from Gross Budgetary Support (GBS), the centre’s financial assistance, and is exploring innovative financing models to fund priority projects including LIC’s Rs 1.5 lakh crore loan.