For the first time, the Indian Railways is planning to give out tenders as large as 1,500 km, up from the present average of 30-40 km, for railway electrification in order to meet its full electrification target by 2021.
The tenders issued under the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model is expected to significantly cut down electrification costs which is now Rs 1-2 crore per km.
The railways has plans to issue tender packages ranging from 400 km to 1,500 km under the EPC contracts. Along with speeding up the electrification process, this move will be a point of departure after which all contracts would be in EPC mode, a senior railway ministry official told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.
Last month, Railway minister Piyush Goyal had said that the ministry were to issue larger electrification tender to speed up the process. He said that instead of the railways issuing tenders for only 30-40 km, it would start giving tenders for minimum of 500 km of track, according to another report.
Additionally, the railways has uploaded a model EPC Agreement, model request for qualification (RFQ) and model request for proposal (RFP) and opened it for public feedback till November 16. This initiative was taken for the advancement of the electrification initiatives.
As per the Mint report, the railways plans to electrify 24,400 km of railway tracks within 2021 while incurring a total cost of Rs 35,000 crore. Several companies, including the public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), are eyeing the electrification contracts that are on the card.
A second railway official confirmed the development to the newspaper and said that the railways has only completed electrifying 40 percent of its existing 66,000 km till now and falling behind schedule.
He also said that big tenders are likely to attract bigger players as contractors who would be better equipped to finish the work faster and with more efficiency. He added that the EPC contracts would also be open for global companies.