Mrashtras power-packed IPP plan crawls

Mumbai, Nov 27 | Updated: Nov 28 2006, 09:08am hrs
The Maharashtra governments much touted programme to add generation capacity of 12,500 mw with an investment of over Rs 48,000 crore by independent power producers (IPPs) is progressing at a snails pace.

The government, which had inked MoUs on April 4, 2005 with Reliance Energy Ltd (REL), Tata Power Company (TPC), Essar, Ispat, Jindal and Spectrum Technologies, US, is not happy with IPPs for the lack of substantial progress made by them on development of projects incorporated in the MoUs. This, government sources admit, is really bad news, especially when it has received new investment proposals of the order of Rs 35,000 crore since June last year.

The government, which is striving to meet the ever-increasing demand for power, projects that capacity of 2,000 mw would be surely added by the Jindals and TPC while for the rest the government is not too optimistic. State energy minister Dilip Walse-Patil has convened a meeting on Tuesday to take stock of the situation.

In case of the Jindal Group, which is setting up an imported coal-based 1,000 mw project at Jaigad, Ratnagiri district, government sources told FE: The company has already received environment clearance from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and it has been forwarded to the ministry of environment and forest for its approval. The company has sorted out issues raised by the villagers pertaining mainly to environment and it has also chalked out social security programme for the villagers. After getting clearance from the environment and forest ministry, the company will be able to commission 500 mw before 40 months. The company is in the process of tying up coal.

As far as TPC is concerned, the company had initially planned to set up a 1,000 mw imported coal based project at Vile, in Raigad district. However, it has already communicated the government it would not be able to fulfil its commitment mainly due to logistical problems. The company now expressed its desire to develop the project in Shahapur, Raigad district and it has already submitted its proposal to the government. The government expects TPC to complete the project well within the stipulated time.

However, the government is currently in the midst of sorting out allotment of land to TPC as the land identified by the company overlaps with RELs proposed 4,000 mw gas-coal mix power project. This is the only hitch which will be overcome soon, government sources said.

REL has already started the land acquisition process and it has communicated to the government that gas supply for the project would be possible after middle of 2008. The company has also floated tender for the procurment of equipment and plant for project to be completed in phases.

Essar Power, which initially wanted to develop 1,000 mw project in Vidarbha, has shown its interest to set it up at Vile. According to sources, Ispat, which would develop two projects with total capacity of around 3,000 mw in Raigad district and at another at Bhadrawati, has yet to make any substantial progress.