Tidal power project hangs in limbo

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the Vibrant Gujarat summit earlier this year with the Maharashtra-based Indian subsidiary of SDE Enterprises to set up a tidal energy plant in the state.

But till date, not a single official from the company has turned up for carrying out the modalities, according to officials of the Energy and Petrochemicals Department of the Government of Gujarat.

The MoU was signed between V H Buch, the Director of Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) and Sai Lal Jedhia, Managing Director of Om Sai Mantra Powergen Limited, the Indian subsidiary of SDE Enterprises.

Buch was unavailable for comments while GEDA Chairman and Principal Secretary, Energy and Petrochemicals Department, S Jagdeesan refused to comment on the details. He said not a single representative from the company got back to the government.

"We will be able to tell anything only if someone turns up from the company for carrying out the modalities of the project, and what they intend to do. The MoU was signed after Jedhia had showed his intentions of setting up the plant. But we are yet to hear anything from them," he said.

A senior official from GEDA said that nothing was finalised except for the MoU, in which Rs 50 crores were pledged. "Since Gujarat has the longest coastline, a site for power generation through waves is not an issue. But, we are not informed about the technical details of the project that the company wants to set up. Once they get back to us, we will be able to say something," the official added.

Meanwhile, the Tel-Aviv based SDE Enterprises issued a statement on Monday citing the intentions of the firm to set up a tidal energy generation plant by December 2010. "The Indian subsidiary, Om Sai Mantra Powergen Private Limited, intends to commence commercial production of a 5 MW Power Plant with a total value of Rs 50 crore by December 2010," said an official on behalf of Chief Executive Officer Shmaeul Oyadia.

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