In a major blow to Reliance Energy's plans to expand its business in power sector, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has rejected the application of the Anil Ambani-controlled company for a transmission licence.
Reliance Energy Transmission Ltd, a group company, had approached the power regulator last year seeking a licence to undertake construction of 20 transmission lines and 13 sub-stations in the western region, a move firmly opposed by state-run Power Grid Corporation.
PGCIL, which is also the central transmission utility, had publicly voiced its opposition on the ground that it had already started work on the lines, which are part of the western region strengthening scheme envisaging an investment of over Rs 4,700 crore (Rs 47 billion).
In its order, the CERC, while rejecting application of RETL, divided the western region scheme into four parts. PGCIL was awarded two parts (A and D), which involved construction of 765 kv and 400 kv lines by 2008-09, while the other two parts (B and C) are to be fully executed by private players on the basis of competitive bidding.
Power Grid Corp planned to execute the project through the joint venture route with the private partner holding between 51 to 74 per cent equity.
The project involved construction of 800 circuit kms of 765 kv lines, 6,300 ckms of 400 kv lines, augmentation of 17 existing sub-stations and setting up four new sub-stations.
Reliance Energy, on the other hand, had proposed to implement the scheme alone.