As many as 12 companies, including Tata Power, Adani Power, Vedanta and state-run NTPC, are in the fray for two proposed ultra mega power projects in Odisha and Tamil Nadu.
Five companies have shown interest in the Odisha UMPP and seven utilities have lined up for the Cheyyur UMPP in Tamil Nadu, according to sources who did not provide a break-up of the bids.
UMPPs are large power projects that use domestic or imported coal. Each has a capacity of about 4,000 MW and requires an estimated investment of Rs 20,000 crore.
Other bidders include Jindal Steel & Power and a consortium of NHPC, BHEL and Singareni Collieries Company, the sources said.
The last date for submission of bids is November 25 for the Odisha project and November 28 for the Cheyyur plant.
The initial bids for the two UMPPs will open this week and qualifying companies will be asked to submit price bids.
"Bid evaluation will take about 3-4 weeks and the next round of bids or the RFP (Request for Proposal) will be invited in December," the sources added.
Power Finance Corporation, the nodal agency for UMPPs, invited preliminary bids for setting up both the projects in September.
Bids were invited after the government revised norms for some types of power projects, including UMPPs, to allow them to pass on escalation in fuel costs to customers in the form of higher tariffs.
In addition, companies building UMPPs have to source equipment from domestic manufacturers.
So far, four UMPPs have been awarded, of which Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand) -- have been bagged by Reliance Power. Tata Power is operating the Mundra UMPP in Gujarat.