Govt-proposed RLNG projects get poor response from investors

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The government’s much touted attempt to set up 1,000 MW RLNG independent power projects (IPPs) in urban load centers has received a cold response as out of the five proposed sites only four managed to get investor response while only one got the final approval, an official source said.

The government had decided to induct new medium-sized (100 — 250 MW) power plants with RLNG as fuel after international competitive bidding. The proposed plants were to be located at the existing sites of old GENCO plants or in the vicinity of existing grid stations and transmission lines of National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDC).

The cumulative capacity of these power plants was 1,000 MW and these were to be established through private sector investment on fast track basis. The government has also considered gas supply network of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and other infrastructure facilities.

The sites selected for these power plants were in Faisalabad, Multan, Sheikhupura, Nawabshah and Sukkur. The Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) was entrusted to take these proposed plants to the investors.

PPIB advertised Request for Proposals (RFP) for RLNG based power projects for 200-225 MW IPP at the existing site of GTPS and SPS Faisalabad; 200-225 MW IPP at the existing site of NGPS Piranghaib, Multan; 150 MW IPP at Nawabshah; 200 MW IPP near Arian Road, Sukkur and 200 MW IPP in the vicinity of Atlas Power Project at Sheikhupura, Punjab.

According to sources only 24 RFPs were issued by the PPIB to the interested parties for four sites. None of the parties purchased RFP for the Nawabshah site. Against the 24 issued RFPs, only 3 bids were received, one each for sites in Faisalabad, Multan and Sheikhupura. The poor response may have been because of the PPIB failing to properly advertise the projects.

A bid evaluation committee was formed consisting of officials from the Ministry of Water and Power (MoWP, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources (MoPNR), Ministry of Finance (MoF), NTDC, Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA), GENCO Holding and PPIB under the chairmanship of the MoWP additional secretary in accordance with the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved framework.

A grievance redressal committee was also constituted under the chairmanship of the MoWP secretary consisting of MoWP joint secretary, CPPA CEO and NTDC MD, as members, to address concerns of any bidder feeling aggrieved by any act of the bid evaluation committee.

The source said Fatima Group submitted only photocopies of the bid without the original documents, which were received approximately three hours after the deadline for the submission of the bid. The committee decided not to entertain the photocopy of the bid submitted by Fatima Group for further processing.

The Fatima Group pleaded its case before the grievance redressal committee which upheld the decision of the bid evaluation committee. The committee finalised evaluation report in technical bids (Envelope-I) in its 5th meeting held on April 25.

It recommended that the bid submitted by the Atlas Power Limited (APL) for 220 MW RLNG based IPP at Sheikhupura, Punjab, as technically qualified and hence envelope-II (Financial Bid) may be opened. The bid was opened and approved.

The source said that the APL will set up a power plant at a total cost of Rs 22.2 billion, out of which EPC’s cost is estimated to be Rs 16.6 billion. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has approved the tariff for the power plant.

The NEPRA has determined a levelised tariff of Rs 10.41 per unit on RLNG and a levelised tariff of Rs 16.74 kWh on high speed diesel (HSD) for the thirty year life of the plant. APL’s bid tariff was based on the underlying combined cycle efficiencies of 52.05 per cent and 49.31 per cent on RLNG and HSD, respectively and open cycle efficiency of 33.10 per cent.