January 22, 2002 | Economic Times

Tata Power to begin Bhutan project next week

From the rivers of Bhutan to the arid heat of New Delhi, transmission of electricity has certainly come a long way. Next week, Tata Power – India’s largest private power utility – will begin construction on a project that will evacuate power from a Bhutanese plant and supply it to the power-thirsty citizens of New Delhi. The 400-kv Tala transmission project, costing Rs 1,200 crore, will traverse 1,500 km and is expected to be completed in three years. Power-Grid Corporation is helping Tata Power with the project and will take 49 per cent stake in the new company to be formed.

The Royal Government of Bhutan is building a 1,020-mw hydro-electric project in that country through the Tala Hydro-Electric Power Authority and with help from the Indian government. The entire power from this project is to be supplied to India.

The project involves a 91 metres high gravity dam, 22.4 km long head race tunnel, a huge underground power house and other related works. "The government has drawn up a policy to encourage private participation in a big way," said Union power minister Suresh Prabhu after inaugurating Elecrama-2002, the 5th Electrical and Electronic exhibition here today.

Tata Power will be signing three agreements with PowerGrid – the shareholders agreement, the agreement for transmission and services and the one to implement the project.