MNRE Declares March 25-May 31 as Lockdown Period for RE Projects

MNRE has clarified that the lockdown period for time extension for renewable energy projects will be considered from March 25, 2020, to May 31, 2020.

[Updated July 2, 2020 – 09:15]

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a new order clarifying that the lockdown period for time extension for renewable energy projects as per its previous order will be considered from March 25, 2020, when the lockdown was first started to May 31, 2020.

The new order comes in continuation of the MNRE’s order from April 17, 2020, regarding time-extension for renewable energy (RE) projects due to lockdown due to COVID-19. The ministry had directed all RE implementing agencies of the MNRE to treat lockdown due to COVID-1 9, as Force Majeure and that they may grant an extension of time for RE projects equivalent to the period of lockdown and additional 30 days for normalisation after the end of such lockdown. States/UTs were also requested to treat the Lockdown due to COVID-19, as Force Majeure and to consider granting appropriate time extension on account of such lockdown.

In its latest order, the Ministry has stated that “in line with the Ministry of Home Affairs Order Nos. 40-3/2020-DM-l(A) dated 15th April, 17th May and 30th May 2020, the period of lockdown is to be treated from 25th March 2020, when the lockdown started, to 31st May 2020.”

*Which implies that all projects through RE Implementing agencies designated by the MNRE and the projects under various schemes of the MNRE are covered under the said OM.

Ritu Lal, Senior VP and  Head Institutional Relations at Amplus Solar said “while the Lockdown started as a national initiative, the lifting of the lockdown has been staggered due to the respective state authorities. Some parts of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, for example, are still under lockdown. In this renewed phase of the lockdown, where some parts of the country are still not operational, human resource availability is proving to be a challenge. The impact of labour shortages is not uniform across the country, and in some areas, labour mobilisation has become very difficult. Long-distance interstate transport remains a challenge. Giving a deadline at this stage for Renewable Energy projects may not be suitable. Instead, a minimum extension of three months (from the day of lifting the lockdown in the state) will be needed to deliver projects under construction. 

Further, the ministry also clarified that the timelines for intermediate milestones of a project may also be extended within the extended time provided for commissioning.

The Developers, of the projects covered under the order* may also pass on the benefit of such time-extension, by way of granting similar time-extensions, to other stakeholders down the value chain like Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) contractors, material/ equipment suppliers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), etc.

Recently, the MNRE had formed the much-awaited Project Development Cell (PDC) in its Ministry. The move is in line with the Central Government’s earlier directive to set up an ‘Empowered group of Secretaries (EGoS) and Project Development Cells (PDCs) in the Ministries and Departments of the Government of India for attracting investments in India by the development of investible projects in coordination between the Central Government and State Governments.’

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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