The delay in the commissioning of NTPC’s R10,000-crore-Barh-I power project in Bihar, where Russian company...
The delay in the commissioning of NTPC’s R10,000-crore-Barh-I power project in Bihar, where Russian company TPE is a contractor, will figure prominently in the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
Given the upcoming Bihar polls, the Modi government wants see early commissioning of the project, which has been delayed by three years due to slow work by TPE, a power equipment supplier fully owned by the Russian government. Sources said TPE has told NTPC it will be able to complete the project in 2017 only. The Indian power generator is in favour of changing the contractor so that pending work could be fast-tracked.
Meanwhile, government sources said TPE has raised extra financial claim of $ 248 million on Indian power generator, which is on top of the $190 million paid to it in 2010 towards increased inputs costs. And to put pressure on the PSU for early settlement of additional claims, the contractor is going slow on execution work. But government sources said NTPC has refused to entertain TPE’s demand, saying it is beyond the scope of the contract. The PSU has also drawn the government’s attention to repeated shifting of commissioning dates by TPE.
NTPC sources said the company has already served termination notice to TPE. However, the same has been kept on hold so that the dispute could be taken up for resolution at the diplomatic level. The matter is being taken up under the India Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation.
Significantly, NTPC’s Barh-I project continues to languish even as the Barh-II project, which was conceived by the state-owned entity much later and where Indian equipment supplier BHEL was the contractor, has already started operations.