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Reliance, Areva Solar-Thermal Plant to Start, PTI Says

A Reliance Power Ltd. solar-thermal power project will start in October after a five-month delay, the Press Trust of India reported, citing builder Areva SA.

The project was able to source 60 percent of its equipment in India, Siddhartha Ghoshal, managing director of Areva’s solar unit in the country, told a conference, according to PTI.

All 10 of India’s proposed solar-thermal plants, comprising 500 megawatts of capacity, missed deadlines to start operating earlier this year, hobbled by escalating costs and difficulties importing equipment. Only Godawari Power & Ispat Ltd.’s 50-megawatt plant was completed in June after a lack of local components drove the project over budget by 20 percent.

Reliance’s 21 billion-rupee ($338 million), 100-megawatt project missed a May deadline as authorities in Rajasthan state failed to lay a water pipe to the site in time, Reliance Power Chief Executive Officer Jayaram P. Chalasani said that month.

Solar-thermal plants focus sunlight on liquids to produce steam for turbines and are valued for their ability to deliver electricity around the clock.

Reliance Power and Areva didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed requests seeking confirmation of the PTI report.

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