The company has submitted a financial bid for the distressed KSK Mahanadi project that is being eyed by billionaire Gautam Adani's Adani Power and Anil Agarwal's London Stock Exchange-listed Vedanta Ltd among others, a source aware of the matter said.

The 1,800-megawatt power project, built by KSK Energy Ventures, is one of many distressed coal-fired private power stations mired in insolvency proceedings in recent years as owners did not have fuel supplies or the funds to complete them.

The project was admitted for insolvency proceedings in October 2019 but the court has not called financial bids since then.

"Jindal Power has submitted an unsolicited bid to authorised resolution professional for KSK Mahanadi Power project in Chhattisgarh," a government source said. The two sources did not want to be quoted as they were not authorised to speak to media.

Jindal Power and Sumit Binani- the resolution professional appointed for the KSK Mahanadi power project by the insolvency court - did not respond immediately to a queries sent by Reuters.

The unsolicited bid shows renewed interest of Indian private companies in coal-based power plants.

The share of private investments in India's coal-based power has dwindled after 2018 due to lower demand and an ambitious thrust of the federal government on renewable energy.

Coal-based power plants are back in focus in India as the Asian country expects its demand to cross 260-gigawatts during peak hours in summer this year.

India will operate new coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 13.9 gigawatts until December this year, the highest annual increase in at least six years.

($1 = 83.0535 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Sarita Chaganti Singh, Editing by Louise Heavens)

By Sarita Chaganti Singh