Jindal Power, a division of Jindal Steel & Power, has submitted a bid of Rs140bn ($1.69bn) for the KSK Mahanadi coal power plant in India, Reuters has reported.

Located in the Janjgir-Champa district in the state of Chhattisgarh, the coal-fired power plant is currently involved in insolvency proceedings.

The KSK Mahanadi power plant has also attracted attention from other industry giants including Gautam Adani’s Adani Power and Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta.

The 1.8GW plant was constructed by KSK Energy Ventures and has been embroiled in insolvency proceedings since October 2019.

Despite having cash reserves of Rs120bn from operations, the power plant faces total debt claims of Rs320bn.

Reuters quoted one of the sources working for the government as follows: “Jindal Power has submitted an unsolicited bid to the authorised resolution professional for KSK Mahanadi Power project in Chhattisgarh.”

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By GlobalData

The financial bid by Jindal Power indicates a resurgence of interest in coal-based power plants among Indian private companies.

The shift in focus back to coal-based power generation comes as India anticipates peak summer power demand exceeding 260GW, according to Reuters.

The country is set to add new coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 13.9GW by the end of 2024, marking the largest annual increase in more than half a decade.

In January 2024, the Business Standard reported that the country’s National Thermal Power Corporation was planning to bid for the power plant.

Central and state public sector power-generating companies and state power/energy departments have been directed by the government to search for projects such as this one that are under insolvency proceedings.

In January 2024, the government’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs sanctioned equity investments of Rs56.07bn by Coal India subsidiaries in two coal-fired power projects.

They will be made by South Eastern Coalfields and Mahanadi Coalfields to establish power plants with a combined capacity of 2.26GW.

South Eastern Coalfields is partnering with the Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company to set up a 660MW thermal power plant, while Mahanadi Coalfields will construct a two-times 800MW thermal power plant through Mahanadi Basin Power.