Himachal Signs Pre-implementation Agreement For Brakel Project


Brakel Pays Rs 86 Cr Upfront money

After much delay, the Himachal government on Thursday signed the pre-implementation agreement (PIA) with Dutch venture Brakel Corp NV for execution of the 960 MW Jangi-Thopan-Powari project on Satluj River in Kinnaur district.

The PIA was signed by chief secretary Asha Swaroop and company director Dean Gesterkamp, late on Thursday, a government spokesman said.

Confirming as much Anil Wahal, managing director Brakel, said “as per agreement terms, Brakel Corp NV on signing up the pre-implementation agreement paid Rs 86 crores towards the upfront premium for allotment of the project.”

Singing of PIA comes after the project allotment was fiercely contested by rival bidding company Reliance Energy in the courts and the new government, which assumed power in January 2008, after initially hesitating to endorse the previous governments decision came around to upholding the memorandum of understanding reached with the company in December, 2006.

The cabinet on November 25, 2008, setting aside the objections of Reliance Energy, gave its nod to go ahead with signing the PIA.

Company official Arun Sharma, said by handing over a Rs 86 crores cheque, Brakel has already deposited 75 percent of the upfront premium for the hydropower project.

Balance upfront money Rs 86 crore is scheduled for payment at the time when the company a achieves financial closure, he said.

The Dutch upstart company in 2006 had outbid rivals by offering to pay Rs 37 lakhs per MW for the project. However, the company defaulted on paying on schedule and it was only when the new government served notice that Rs 173 crores as 50 percent of upfront money was paid. The government imposed a 11 percent interest for delayed payments, towards which additional Rs 21 crores was paid, early in 2008.

The mega power project involves tunneling through high rise mountains to change the course of fast flowing Himalayan River Satluj and involves investments over Rs 6000 crores.

Signing of the pre-implementation agreement notwithstanding, Reliance Energy has challenged the governments decisions a third time to allot the project to Brakel in the Himachal High Court. Two earlier petitions fell through in the court.

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