French firm to develop India’s 50-MW Baitarani complex

France-based Velcan Energy is seeking environmental and administrative approvals for construction of the two-plant, 50-MW Baitarani hydroelectric complex in India’s Orissa State.

Velcan, which held its annual general meeting June 29, said its special purpose subsidiaries, Bhimkund Baitarani Power Projects Pvt. Ltd. and Tarini Hydro Energy Pvt. Ltd., received 30-year government concessions to develop the Baitarani 1 and 2 plants of 25 MW each.

The project includes construction of two dams and powerhouses, Bhimkund and Tarini, five kilometers apart on the Baitarani River. They are expected to generate 200,000 MWh per year as well as 210,000 carbon emissions reduction certificates per year.

Velcan said the administrative phase of the project, obtaining remaining approvals, is expected to take two years. Construction is expected to begin in second quarter 2009 and be complete in last quarter 2011.

�We are very happy with this first fine concession in India,� Velcan Managing Director Antoine Decitre said. �Although much remains to be done, this proves that our hydropower development team in India is now operational. This team should enable us to announce several contracts of that size before the end of the year.�

Decitre said Velcan plans to concentrate on larger 50- to 100-MW sites to attain its objective of 1,000 MW of hydropower concessions in India.

In April, Velcan signed 30-year concessions to build three hydro plants in Brazil’s Santa Catarina and Minas Gerais states. (HNN 4/27/07)

Velcan said its strategy is to develop hydro projects in stable emerging countries having a high potential of undeveloped hydropower. It has two sources of revenue, power sales and sale of carbon credits.

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