The state government of Orissa in India has announced the privatisation of four electricity distribution companies owned by the state.

Power distribution is currently carried out by the Grid Corporation of Orissa Ltd (GRIDCO) which also owns and operates the transmission business in the state. GRIDCO has invited parties interested in the privatization to apply for prequalification by March 14 this year. A request for proposals is intended to follow by mid-1998 inviting bids from the qualified companies or consortia.

In April 1996, the state government of Orissa transferred the electricity transmission and distribution business from the Orissa State Electricity Board (OSEB) to GRIDCO. GRIDCO’s distribution system comprises a total of approximately 110 000km of lines and substations which are divided into ten circles.

These circles have been consolidated into four zones and the business of each zone is to be transferred into four separate companies which have already been incorporated as 100 per cent subsidiaries of GRIDCO.