India firm to build 160-MW Talong

GMR Energy, a unit of GMR Infrastructure Ltd. has signed a memorandum of agreement with Arunachal Pradesh State to build the 160-MW Talong hydroelectric project on Kameng River in Arunachal Pradesh.

GMR said January 29 it is to implement, operate, and maintain the project on a build-own-operate-transfer basis, based on competitive bidding. The 9 billion rupee (US$204 million) project is to be funded through 70 percent debt and 30 percent equity.

Under the agreement, GMR is to offer 14 percent of the project power to the state free of charge. GMR also offered 12 percent of equity to the state in the hydropower development company. The state has the right to buy additional power from Talong.

The project is in advanced state of development, with construction expected to begin in a year and be completed in 2011.

A detailed project report already has been prepared for Talong, which also has received a Stage 1 environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Talong is GMR’s second venture into hydropower development. The company signed a development agreement in 2005 to develop the 140-MW Alaknanda hydro project on the Alaknanda River in Uttarakhand State. That project is under development.

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