*NHPC forms JV company to build 850 MW strategic Ratle Hydropower Project in J&K*

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State-run NHPC Limited has formed a joint venture company- Ratle Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited, for the implementation of a strategic 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project in Jammu and Kashmir.

This comes in the backdrop of India’s plan to fully utilise its share of the waters under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960. The Chenab flows from India to Pakistan.

*Ratle Hydroelectric Project*

“JVC (Joint Venture Company) has been incorporated on 01.06.2021 with NHPC and J&K State Power Development Corporation Limited (JKSPDC) with an equity stake of 51% and 49% respectively. Ratle Hydroelectric Project (850 MW), is a run-of-river scheme located on the Chenab River, Kishtwar District, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Union Power Ministry said in a statement on Monday, June 7, 2021.

“A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 03.02.2019 between JKSPDC, NHPC and the then Government of Jammu and Kashmir in the presence of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi,” the statement added.

*Rs 5,282 Crore to be invested in Ratle Hydroelectric Project*

The Union Cabinet has recently approved an investment of Rs 5,281.94 crore for the 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project on the Chenab River.

According to the statement, “The Ministry of Power has already given investment approval for construction of 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project at an estimated cost of Rs 5281.94 crore at November 2018 price level. Subsequently, the Promoter Agreement was signed on 13.04.2021, whereby Ratle Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited was incorporated.”

*NHPC’s investment in J&K*

NHPC is the largest investor in Jammu and Kashmir and has invested Rs 20,778 crore there in the last four decades. It has paid about Rs 5387.51 crore to J&K towards water usage charges. Apart from supplying 789 MW to J&K from its power projects, NHPC also provides 12% free power to J&K and 1% free power to the Local Area Development Fund.

*NHPC to be developed 3,814 MW of projects in J&K*

NHPC plans to develop projects totaling 3,814 MW on its own and through joint ventures in the Union Territory. Apart from Ratle, these projects also include the 800 MW Bursar project. In addition, NHPC is implementing Pakal Dul (1000 MW), Kiru (624 MW) and Kwar (540 MW) hydroelectric projects in Jammu & Kashmir in a joint venture.

*New PSU in the portfolio of Central Government*

In the past, we have seen some PSUs converting into private sector units, but it is also in the scenario that the Central Government is also setting up new PSUs.

NHPC Limited, India’s premier hydropower company under the Ministry of Power has formed a joint venture company, “Ratle Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited” for the implementation of the 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project. This is one of the new PSUs in the portfolio of the Central Government, and in future, many more would come.