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NHPC forms joint venture to implement the Ratle project

National Hydroelectric Power Corp­oration (NHPC), India’s state hydro­power producer and developer, has formed a joint venture company with Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) to implement the 850 MW Ratle hydroelectric project on the River Chenab in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The newly formed special purpose company Ratle Hydro­electric Power Corpor­ation Ltd, was incorporated on 1 June following the signing of an agreement between the two promoters in April 2021, and will be majority-owned by NHPC with an equity stake of 51 per cent, and JKSPDC holding the remaining 49 per cent. A tripartite MoU was signed in February 2019 between JKSPDC, NHPC and the then Government of Jammu & Kashmir. A supplementary MoU for implementation of Ratle was signed in January 2021 (see H&D issue 1, 2021).

The same month, the Govern­ment granted investment approval for implementation of the project with a budgeted cost of INR 5281.94 crore (US$ 724.2 million). Construction of the run-of-river project, in Kishtwar district, started in 2013, following the award of contracts to GVK Projects & Technical Services for civil works and Alstom for the electro-mechanical equipment supply; work was halted in July 2014, however, as a result of resettlement issues and local opposition, and since then no further work has been undertaken at the site. Initial work had been undertaken on two diversion tunnels. Work is set to resume following the award of the new contracts. Ratle will feature a 133 m-high concrete dam and an underground powerhouse which is to be equipped with four 205 MW genereating units. A surface powerhouse near the dam toe will house an additional 30 MW unit.