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Gujarat 50 MW tidal power project in rough seas

As Panchabuta had reported earlier this year, the Indian State of Gujarat has approved a 50MW tidal power project to be constructed in the Gulf of Kutch. The MoU was signed as part of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2011 and a total of 250MW of future tidal power development was agreed under the terms of the MoU.

The State of Gujarat had agreed terms with marine energy developer Atlantis Resources Corporation who will partner with Gujarat Power Corporation Limited on the landmark project that could commence construction as early as 2011.

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had earlier said it may provide financial incentives for as much as 50 percent of the cost for projects seeking to demonstrate how to produce electricity from ocean tides.

According to reports, The 50 MW tidal power project, proposed to come up in Gulf of Kutch, seems to have run into an unexpected barrier. The project’s developer, Singapore-based Atlantis Resources Corporation, wants the state government to hold stake in the ambitious project, the first of its kind in the country. The government, however, wants to restrict its role to that of a facilitator.

DJ Pandian, principal secretary, energy & petrochemicals department, said that the state government wants the tidal power project to come up in Gujarat. However, it is content playing the role of a facilitator.

“The state government’s policy is to facilitate private investment. And, we are doing so by providing a conducive environment and by helping investors obtain various approvals and clearances in an easy manner. We do not want to hold any equity interest in the project,” said Pandian.

However, considering the fact that tidal energy is an unexplored area in India and the risks associated with the project, state government was exploring other options to see if the project can get financial assistance under any government scheme.
“We are also exploring if the project can get assistance under any Central scheme,” added Pandian.

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