The West Bengal government has initiated the bidding process for the development and operation of the Bandu Pumped Storage Project, a 900 MW capacity power project, through a public-private partnership. The project, situated in the Ajodhya Hill Area of Purulia district, is expected to cost approximately Rs 4,700 crore and will be executed on a design-build-finance-operate-transfer (DBFOT) basis, with a project life of 40 years.
A senior official from the power department revealed that there were minor delays in the tendering process, but the government is now optimistic about concluding the process shortly. The deadline for bid submission is set for August 28, and the proposals will be opened on August 31. Notably, the winning bidder will be chosen based on the highest royalty per kWh of electricity produced.
The state government’s initiative aims to boost renewable energy generation, and the Bandu Pumped Storage Project will be the second major venture towards this goal. Currently, the government operates a 900 MW pumped storage power project in Purulia under the administration of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL).
The concept of pumped storage power involves storing electricity by pumping water uphill during periods of low demand and subsequently generating electricity by releasing the water downhill during high demand periods. This method provides flexibility to meet peak electricity demands and ensures grid stability. Moreover, pumped storage power is considered a cost-effective source of renewable energy.
Among the potential bidders, the Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW Group, known for its power portfolio through JSW Energy, has expressed interest in the pumped storage power project in the past.
The government is hopeful that a suitable bidder will be chosen within the next few months, advancing the state’s renewable energy infrastructure and promoting sustainable power generation.