FE 500: 'We will be a 66,000 MW company by March 2017'

Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Feb 29 2012, 23:51pm hrs
With every third bulb in the country lit with power supplied from NTPC's generating stations, the central utility remains the mainstay of the Indian power sector, despite the entry of several private players. That is the reason there is

always pressure on the state-owned generator to deliver on the capacity addition front. Since it is a public sector company, it also has to accommodate political aspirations

while taking its investment decisions.

In an interview with FE's Noor Mohammad, NTPC chairman Arup Roy Choudhury discusses the company's capacity addition plans.Excerpts:

What is the status of NTPC's capacity addition programme for the 11th Five-Year Plan

Our capacity addition target is 9,220 MW. Against that, we have already added 8,610 MW. We will exceed the target.

What is the capacity addition target for the coming Plan What is the fuel-wise composition of the capacity addition envisaged

Capacity addition target for the 12 th Plan is yet to be finalised. But we plan to keep ambitious targets and become a 66,000 MW company by the end of 12th Plan (March 2017). Coal is and will be the dominant source of power generation. If gas is allocated, we can set up about 4,000 MW gasbased capacity. Hydro capacity of 1,328 mw is under construction will also get commissioned during the 12th Plan.We plan to add 1,000 MW capacity based on renewable energy, primarily wind and solar.

What is your coal import target for the financial year 2012-13 How much did you import in the current financial year

We have awarded a contract for direct import of 4 million tonnes of coal. In addition, we have already placed orders with State Trading Corporation for supply of 12 million tonnes of imported coal. We expect to import 16 million tonnes of coal in the coming financial year.

Some of your plants are facing problems in selling power due to high tariffs. Do you plan to use more of domestic coal in such plants to bring down the generation cost

To supply affordable power to consumers, we have to look at domestic coal, which we have in abundance in our country.There are about 114 billion tonnes of proven reserves of coal, most of which are in open-cast mines. We need to rapidly enhance domestic coal production, which is stagnating. If we could that, we should be able to meet the countrys requirement for affordable power.

We are developing our own mines and are targeting to produce at least 20% of our requirement from our mines. The government has also agreed to allocate more mines to feed about 8,400 MW capacity.

How is the progress in seeking environmental clearances and acquisition of land for projects where equipment supply orders have been placed through bulk tendering

In case of the 660 MW bulk tender, all clearances are in place and the required land has been acquired. But equipment orders have not been placed as the case is sub-judice in the Supreme Court. As regards the 800 MW bulk tender, we expect to place orders for the Kudgi Project in Karnataka. As for other projects Lara in Chhattisgarh and Gajmara and Darlipalli in Odisha land acquisition is under progress.

What changes have come in areas like the companys project planning and execution and fuel security strategy after you took over

We have taken initiatives to overcome issues which were dragging down our growth. For example, we have further streamlined our procurement system and project management.

We have also delegated more decision-making powers to our critical engineering staff like project heads in matters like preliminary construction activities for new and expansion projects. Khargone is going to be the first project of NTPC where the entire work will be undertaken on execution, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.