The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s (NMMC) ambitious solar power project at Morbe dam may have hit a roadblock. Sources familiar with the developments have revealed that questions are being raised over the financial viability of the project once it is commissioned.
The civic body has floated tender six times so far, to invite contractors for generation of electricity using non-conventional energy and project maintenance for the next 25 years. However, only two bids were received every time.
NMMC, though, is confident of the project’s success. “Doubts are being raised over the investment of around Rs200 crore for this project, when monetary returns are less and maintenance costs are more,” said a source.
However, the civic body did not receive a single bid during the tendering, which closed on November 22. “We have not received a single bid for the Morbe solar power project,” confirmed GV Rao, in-charge of electric department of NMMC.
According to the previous calculations of the civic body, the project would cost around Rs200 crore and it expects revenues amounting Rs40 crore yearly after selling this power in market. In 5 years’ time the project cost would be recovered and thereafter, Rs40 crore would continually be added to the civic coffers.
“It is a power project and it is wrong to assume that there will be no maintenance costs. At the time of calculating Rs40 crore income for the civic body after 5 years, operation and maintenance costs had not been taken into account. Maintaining a power project is a costly affair and erecting this project is sheer wastage of money,” said a source.
He added, “They’re receive only two bids each time they float the tender. Earlier, the civic body floated tenders thrice, and if there were one or two bids, the work would be awarded to the lowest bidder. As per the rule, three bidders are mandatory during a tender process and Abasaheb Jarhad, after taking over as municipal commissioner, is strictly following this rule. As a result, the project is not finding any takers.”
The state government has cleared municipal corporation’s proposal to develop a solar energy near Morbe dam.
Sources familiar with the developments have revealed that questions are being raised over the financial viability of the project once it is commissioned.
As per previous calculations of NMMC, the project would cost around Rs200 crore and expectedly get revenues of Rs40 crore yearly after selling this power in the market. In 5 years’ time, the project cost would be recovered and thereafter, Rs40 crore would be added annually.