NTPC says no to coal-based power plant

New Delhi, Nov 21 | Updated: Nov 22 2005, 06:06am hrs
The countrys largest power producer, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), has informed the government that it is not in favour of setting up a coal-based power plant for Punjab.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his recent visit to Punjab had announced that NTPC would soon set up a power plant in the state after conducting a feasibility study. In a letter written to the power ministry, NTPC has said that Punjab had locational disadvantages with regard to setting up a coal-based project as the area was far away from proven coal sources.

Moreover, as NTPC normally takes up projects for regional or multi-state benefits and are mandated to supply power to the beneficiary states in the region as well as other states outside the region, there was no point in having a coal based power plant in Punjab just to meet the energy needs of the state, the power sector utility mentioned in its letter.

For coal-based power stations prima facie it is techno economically more advantageous to generate power at/near the coal pithead and transmit power through EHV transmission lines. NTPC has already taken up/identified several coal based projects located near coal source in Eastern region for which Punjab is also likely to benefit, NTPC informed power ministry in the letter.

Among the new projects to be commissioned by by NTPC, its 1980 MW North Karanpura project in Jharkhand will supply 162 MW of power to Punjab. Other projects like Loharinag Pala and Tapovan Vishnugad in Uttaranchal will also supply part of the power to Punjab.

Among on-going projects, the 1,000 MW Rihand (UP) project supplies 131 MW of power to Punjab. The 210 MW Unchahar project supplies 35 MW, the 1,000 MW Kahalgoan-II project supplies 112 MW, the 1,980 MW Barh (Bihar) supplies 161 MW and the 800 MW Koldam hydro project supplies 111 MW power to the state.