Covid Update: MNRE Grants Five-Month Extension For Renewable Projects

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Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. MNRE recently issued an order on time extension in the scheduled commissioning date of Renewable Energy (RE) Projects considering disruption due to lockdown due to COVID-19.

RE developers requested the Ministry to grant a general time extension on account of lock down (due to COVID-19) and additional time required for normalization after such lockdown. 

This issue has been examined by the Ministry and it has been decided that all Renewable Energy (RE) implementing agencies of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) will treat lockdown due to COVID-19, as Force Majeure.

The Ministry ordered that all RE projects under implementation as on the date of lockdown, i.e. 25th March 2020, through RE Implementing Agencies designated by the MNRE or under various schemes of the MNRE will be given a time extension of 5 months from 25th March 2020 to 24th August 2020. This blanket extension, if invoked by the RE developers, will be given without case to case examination and no documents/evidence will be asked for such extension. 

The ministry also stated that the timelines for intermediate milestones of a project shall also be extended within the extended time provided for commissioning. The Developers, of the projects may also pass on the benefit of such time-extension, by way of granting similar time-extensions, to other stakeholders down the value chain like Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contractors, material, equipment suppliers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), etc. e) The State Renewable Energy Departments (including agencies under Power/ Energy Departments of States, but dealing in renewable energy) may also treat lockdown due to COVID-19, as Force Majeure and may consider granting appropriate time extension on account of such lockdown. 

MNRE earlier on 20.03.2020, issued directions to SECI, NTPC, and Addl. Chief Secretaries / Pr. Secretaries / Secretaries of Power / Energy / Renewable Energy (RE) Departments of State Governments/ UT Govts./ Administrations, to treat delay on account of disruption of the supply chains due to spread of coronavirus in China or any other country, as Force Majeure and that they may grant a suitable extension of time for projects, on account of coronavirus, based on evidence/documents produced by developers in support of their respective claims of such disruption of the supply chains due to spread of coronavirus in China or any other country.

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