Winning firm thinks big


Hemant Sahai and Sunei Kapur of HSA Advocates, a winner of the ‘energy, projects & infrastructure’ award, look into the future of ultra-mega power projects

After the unsuccessful attempt to augment generation capacity through mega power projects in the late 1990s, the concept of ultra-mega power projects (UMPPs) was introduced in 2005-06, with the aim of bringing down the cost of generating power through scale and competition. Since 2005-06, four UMPPs with an aggregate capacity of 15,920 MW have been awarded by the government.

Hemant Sahai
Hemant Sahai

The idea behind the UMPP programme was to have the government assume the developmental risks and provide a secure foundation to the private developer to undertake construction of the UMPPs.

The developers were expected to assume the risks related to construction and operation of UMPPs, including the long-term fuel risk. The UMPPs at Mundra in Gujarat and Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh being situated at coastal locations were designed to be run on imported coal, while the Sasan UMPP in Madhya Pradesh and Tilaiya UMPP in Jharkhand being situated at coal pitheads were proposed to be integrated with dedicated captive coal blocks.

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Hemant Sahai is the managing partner of HSA Advocates. He can be reached at Sunei Kapur is an associate at the firm. HSA Advocates advised the Association of Power Producers in negotiating the revised power purchase agreemens for the new structure, with the government of India.