• Delays cost energy projects Rs 71,000 crore

    hat could be the total cost of the bureaucratic delays in implementation of energy sector projects? The cost runs into a whopping Rs 71,000 crore, according to the government’s own assessment of the progress on major infrastructure projects currently being set up in the petroleum, coal and power sectors.

    According to the latest report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, this includes Rs 48,889 crore from power generation and transmission projects, Rs 5,120 crore from petroleum projects, Rs 11,476 crore from atomic power projects, Rs 4504 from petrochemical projects and Rs 1016 from coal projects.


    As many as 14 power generation projects and six power transmission projects have cost overruns due to delays.
    The list includes six projects of Power Grid Corporation, four projects on NHPC, four projects of NEEPCO, three projects of NTPC, two projects of DVC and one project of THDCIL.

    Of these 20 projects that ran into cost overrun, eight are hydro power projects with a total capacity of 3,640 MW.

    These projects, which have a total cost overrun of nearly Rs 16,000 crore have mostly been stuck due to environmental issues, protests from activist groups and agitation from locals.

    While some projects were approved as early as 2002 and 2003, NEEPCO’s 60 Megwatt Tuirial Hydro Power project was approved 18 years back in 1998. The project was scheduled to be commissioned in 2006.

    “However, the project work came to total stop w.e.f 9th June, 2004 on account of agitation launched by Tuirial Crop Compensation Claimant Association claiming payment of crop compensation for the Standing Crops in the Riverine Reserve Forest. Till June, 2004 prior to stoppage of work, 30% of the Project work and 95% of Design & Engineering work were completed,” according to information available on NEEPCO’s website.

    In terms of cost overrun, NHPC’s 8×250 MW Subansiri Lower Hydro electric project has the highest cost overrun at Rs 11,149.82 crore.

    The project was approved in 2003 with an estimated cost of Rs 6,285.33 crore and was expected to be commissioned in 2010. However, due to protests from activists and other groups claiming this project could be a harmful to the environment, construction work in this project has been stuck.

    NTPC, India’s largest power, has two of its thermal power projects and one hydel plant running into cost overrun.

    The company’s 3×660 MW Barh thermal power plant in Bihar, approved in 2005, has a cost overrun of Rs 6,402.7 crore followed by Bongaigaon thermal power plant in Assam, which has a cost overrun of Rs 2,373.83 crore. NTPC’s 4×130 MW Tapovan hydel project has also been delayed leading to a cost overrun of Rs 867.82 crore.

    Atomic Power

    Apart from these, the Kudankulam hydro power project also has a cost overrun of Rs 9,291 crores.

    The project, being set up by NPCIL, was initially approved in 2001 and was scheduled to commission in 2008. The project was delayed due to protests over the safety of a nuclear power plant.

    The first reactor of the plant attained criticality in 2013 and the first unit started production. The second reactor became critical in July this year and commercial operation of the unit is scheduled for 2017.


    Four projects of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, two projects of Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd and one project each of Oil India Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

    Of these, BPCL’s Integrated Refinery Expansion Project has the highest cost overrun at Rs 2,279 crore. The project, which was approved in 2012, was likely to be done by this year.

    The total cost overrun of ONGC’s four projects stand at Rs 1,317.73 crore which include on conversion of rig Sagar Samrat to mobile offshore production unit, Gamji field redevelopment, integrated development of B-127 fields and MH North Redevelopment Phase III.


    The only coal project which features in the list is Singareni Collieries Company’s Adriyala Shaft Project in Telangana. Initially approved in 2009, the project now has a cost overrun of Rs 1,016.05 rupees.

    The mine is estimated to have 54.36 million tonne of deep-seated extractable coal reserves in five horizons and the coal would be used for NTPC’s Ramagundam project. Rodney McLeod Authentic Jersey

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