Odisha to up power generation capacity, may get new UMPPs

Written by Subhash Narayan | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 24 2014, 07:16am hrs
Coal-rich Odisha is set to take a giant leap in raising its power generation capacity by proposing two more 4,000 MW ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) in the state. The state already has one UMPP at Tilaiya in the construction stage and another one at Bedabahal where final round of bidding is expected to be completed soon.

The state government has already identified land and coal mines for the proposed two new UMPPs and has sought Centre's approval for coal block allocation so that bidding for the projects could start soon. The state government will approve the two new sites over next couple of months and then bring the projects before the Centre for approval so that the projects could be awarded latest by first half of next fiscal.

Two sites, Bijoypatna in Chandbali tehsil of Bhadrak district and another at Narlas-Kasinga sub division of Kalahandi district have been identified for setting up additional UMPPs in Odisha. Bankhui coal block has already been allocated for the first UMPP while Ghogarpalli and Dipside of Ghogarpalli coal blocks has been identified for the second project but coal ministry's approval is awaited, said an official in Power Finance Corporation, the nodal agency for the development UMPP projects through special purpose vehicle (SPV). Once all approvals are given, we would immediately put the projects under the bidding route, the official added.

On its part PFC has already set up two shell companies Sakhigopal Integrated Power Co. and Ghogarpalli Integrated Power Co. so that projects could be put on fast track mode once approvals are through.

Odisha is expected to get about 5300 MW of power from different proposed UMPPs. This will also be the highest in any state from these large projects. After the UMPPs are commissioned the state is expected to have surplus power to the tune of 3000-4000 MW that would be used to meet energy needs of deficit states as well as sale in the open market.

The Modi government has identified UMPP programme for giving a push to rapid capacity expansion in the country. Apart from the two new UMPPs in Odisha, exploratory exercise is also going on to initiate such projects in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand. Efforts are on to complete the bidding for two UMPPs at Bedabahal in Odisha and Cheyyur in Tamil Nadu.