Kerala Electricity Board Cancels 200 MW Solar Tender

Only one bidder emerged in previous tender attempts, violating competitive bidding norms


The Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEBL) has passed an order for the cancellation of a tender for 200 MW of ground-mounted solar power projects in Kerala.

It has also asked to obtain appropriate consent for the issuance of a fresh tender from the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC).

The order also mentions that the bid price of ₹3.50 ($ 0.50)/kWh should be incorporated in the revised bid documents before seeking fresh approval for a retender from the KSERC.

The project was retendered through a competitive bidding process earlier in March 2019, with the last date for bid submission as April 17, 2019.

The tender was for a long-term basis of 25 years. Only one bidder, CIAL Infrastructures Limited with a bid quantity of 10 MW, managed to furnish all the required documents by the stipulated time.

However, as per the guidelines passed by the Ministry of Power, to ensure competitiveness in the bidding process, a minimum of two bidders should qualify. The guideline further states that if after three bid attempts, the number of emerging bidders is still less than two, the issuer of the tender (in this case KSEBL), would have to take consent from the appropriate commission (in this case Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission-KSERC).

Additionally, the Request for Selection (RfS) of the KSEBL also stated that the fairness of competitive bidding is stipulated by the emergence of at least two bidders.

The project is part of the Kerala Government’s Saurya program, wherein, the state wishes to develop 1,000 MW of solar assets by 2021.  The Saurya program is to be jointly implemented by KSEBL and Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), the state nodal agency for renewable projects.

Recently, KSEBL also invited interested domestic bidders for the appointment of an EPC contractor for the design, erection, testing, and commissioning of grid-connected rooftop solar projects on buildings owned by the district panchayath of Thiruvananthapuram.

In November 2018, KSERC had approved a petition filed by KSEB seeking its approval for 200 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects to be developed in Kerala under IPP mode. In December 2018, the KSEB tendered 200 MW of grid-connected solar PV projects to be developed in Kerala on Independent Power Producer (IPP) mode. KSERC recently approved modifications in the standard bid document relating to the capacity utilization factor (CUF), metering point, and project location for the 200 MW of solar projects.

Soumik is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, Soumik was a correspondent for UNI, New Delhi covering the Northeast region for seven years. He has also worked as an Asia Correspondent for Washington DC-based Hundred Reporters. He has contributed as a freelancer to several national and international digital publications with a focus on data-based investigative stories on environmental corruption, hydro power projects, energy transition and the circular economy. Soumik is an Economics graduate from Scottish Church College, Calcutta University.