New projects to make Tamil Nadu power surplus by 2012

Written by Joseph Vackayil | Chennai | Updated: Mar 2 2009, 05:37am hrs
The power-starved state of Tamil Nadu, which had not commissioned any major power project after 1996, has lined up a slew of power projects for over 14,000 mw generation capacity in public and private sectors. These projects are expected to make the state power sufficient by 2011 and power surplus after 2012. Tamil Nadu presently has an installed capacity of over 10,000 mw and faces 1,500 mw power deficit affecting industrial and domestic consumers.

The new power projects for over 11,500 mw in public sector and 2,500 mw in private sector are at different stages of implementation. The first unit of the 2,000-mw Kudankulam atomic power project is also close to the stage of being commissioned. There will also be over 4,000-mw installed capacity in renewable sector with over 3,000 mw from wind turbines alone, followed by biomass, co-generation and others.

Of the thermal projects, about 6,000 mw would be commissioned in 2010-11 by the public sector power companies as joint ventures with the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), state electricity minister Arcot N Veerasamy said in the sate assembly.

It includes 1,200-mw expansion of North Chennai and 600-mw expansion of Mettur thermal stations, TNEB-National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) joint venture 1500-mw Vallur thermal project, TNEB-Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) joint venture 1600-mw Udangudi super critical thermal power project and TNEB- Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) 1000-mw joint venture at Tuticorin. He said the first 1,000 mw unit of the Kudankulam atomic power project was scheduled to go on stream in December 2009.

The work on 1,000-mw Vallur thermal power project attracting nearly Rs 5423 crore is at the stage of progress. Its capacity can be expanded by another 500 mw. NTPC and TNEB have floated a 50:50 joint venture company - NTPC Tamil Nadu Energy Company Ltd for the coal-based thermal power project. It is the first NTPC project in Tamil Nadu though it supplies 1,492 mw to the state from Ramagundam in Andhra Pradesh and Kayamkulam in Kerala. The unit-1 at Vallur would be ready by November 2010 and the later by March 2011. The Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) has sanctioned Rs 3796 crore, which is the debt component of the project.

Foundation stone was laid for the super critical 1,600 mw (800x2) Udangudi thermal power project near Tiruchendur, in Tuticorin district, recently. Estimated to cost Rs 8700 crore, it is a joint venture between Bhel and TNEB.

TNEB is teaming up with NLC to set up a coal-based 1,000 mw power project at Tuticorin. The foundation stone for this was laid on Febraury 28 by the external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee. The promoters have formed a new company, NLC-Tamil Nadu Power Ltd, to develop the 500x2 thermal power project estimated to cost Rs 4,900 crore. NLC and TNEB will have 89% and 11% equity respectively. REC has sanctioned Rs 3437 crore, the entire debt component of the NLC-Tamil Nadu Power Ltd.

Coastal Energen , a Coal and Oil group company, is setting up a 1,200-mw merchant power project at Tuticorin. It is to be commissioned in 2012 and major share of the power would be available to the consumers in Tamil Nadu.

Ahmed Buhari CEO said the company has signed a power purchase agreement with Tata Power. It will sell the power to the bulk consumers in Tamil Nadu itself.

Cuddalore Powergen Corporation, promoted by the BGR Energy group, is setting up a 1320 (660x2) thermal power project at Cuddalore with a power purchase agreement with TNEB. This MoU-route power project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2013.

There is a proposal to set up 4,000-mw mega power project at Cheyyur, Kancheepuram district. The Power Finance Corporation is taking the lead in this.

NLC proposes to set up a 1600 mw project at Jayamkondam, Perambalur district, at an investment of Rs 10,000 crore. These two projects will be commissioned after 2012.