Proposed 50 MW Tidal Power Project in Gulf of Kutch Hits Unexpected Barrier (India)

The 50 MW tidal power project, proposed to come up in Gulf of Kutch, seems to have run into an unexpected barrier.

The project’s developer, Singapore-based Atlantis Resources Corporation, wants the state government to hold stake in the ambitious project, the first of its kind in the country. The government, however, wants to restrict its role to that of a facilitator.

The proposed project will be Asia’s first commercial scale tidal power plant. Atlantis, which had signed an MoU for setting up the project during Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2011, wants the government to hold 40% equity in the project, said an official.

DJ Pandian, principal secretary, energy & petrochemicals department, said that the state government wants the tidal power project to come up in Gujarat. However, it is content playing the role of a facilitator.

 “The state government’s policy is to facilitate private investment. And, we are doing so by providing a conducive environment and by helping investors obtain various approvals and clearances in an easy manner. We do not want to hold any equity interest in the project,” said Pandian.

However, considering the fact that tidal energy is an unexplored area in India and the risks associated with the project, state government was exploring other options to see if the project can get financial assistance under any government scheme. “We are also exploring if the project can get assistance under any Central scheme,” added Pandian.

When contacted, a company spokesperson said that the project details were under negotiation and it was not appropriate to comment on them.

However, he added that Atlantis was delighted with the progress made and that further field data gathering exercises in Gulf of Kutch, which have been running for past few months, will soon be complete. The project is expected to deliver important economic benefits for the region and also pave the way for more such projects along Gujarat’s coastline.

According to officials, the 50 MW project is estimated to cost around Rs450-500 crore. The project can be completed within 18-20 months and can be scaled to more than 200 MW capacity.

Atlantis had earlier said that it will also conduct investigations into the ability to combine offshore wind resource in the Gulf of Kutch with the proven tidal current resource to assess the feasibility of a mega marine power project.

By Summit Khanna (dnaindia)


Source: dnaindia, July 26, 2011;