Indian state government approves Balimela hydro power renovation project

The project approval committee (PAC) of Odisha state in India has approved INR6.65bn ($111.6m) renovation and modernization proposal for the Balimela hydro power project.

The proposal by Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) includes the revival of six generator units of each 60MW capacity.

Odisha Energy Minister PK Jena was quoted by Business Standard as saying that the tenders for all the six units will be announced by 15 August 2013.

“The renovation work will be completed in 54 months. Following the renovation, the plant can run for the next 35 years and generate additional 150 million units of electricity,” added Jena.

OHPC is expected to raise INR1.99bn ($33.5m) for the renovation costs, while the remaining expenses are planned through debts.

“Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and some private banks have shown interest in financing the renovation plan. We are evaluating all the proposals,” revealed Jena.

The developments follow a detailed project report (DPR) submitted to the state government in 2012. Mecon was employed to formulate the project.

Besides Balimela hydro project, the government is also keen to renovate two units of Hirakud reservoir and one unit of Chipilima with INR900m ($15.15m) and INR400m ($6.73m) respectively.