NTPC To Make Foray Into Hydro-electricity

Lucknow, Sept 29 | Updated: Sep 30 2004, 05:30am hrs
The National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC) intends to make major forays into hydro-power generation in view of easy availability of water supply in different parts of the country and environmental benefits of hydro power.

Chandan Roy, the Director (operations) of NTPC, on Wednesday told FE that the company had already commenced work in that direction and NTPCs first hydro-powered station would come up in Koldam in Himachal Pradesh. The maiden hydro-power project of NTPC would be of 800 MW and 600 MW which would be operational in the first phase. Mr Roy told that as per the plans, NTPC would add approximately 2,,028 MW of hydro-electric capacity by fiscal 2012. However, the first project will give NTPC 600 MW of hydel power in the next five years by fiscal 2009 and other 200 MW would become operational by fiscal 2010. Giving details, he said that NTPC was currently in the process of implementation of 4x200 MW of hydro-electricity in Himachal Pradesh.

The company has entered into a MoU with government of Uttaranchal for the development of Tapovan Vishnugad hydro-power project of 520 MW. Another project is slated to be commissioned at Loharinag-Pala which will generate 600 MW hydro-electricity. The company has done a detailed survey and viability study of both the projects. The techno-economic clearance has been sought from the Central Electricity Authority.

The director (operations), however, said that there was no move to buy the government stake in National Hydro Power Corporation. Reports were circulating that NTPC was keen to buy the government stake in NHPC of Rs 45 billion by raising money by transfer of some of its plants to a subsidiary. He said that there was no such move but NTPC was going whole hog in hydro-power generation as part of its capacity expansion plans.

NTPC plans to double its capacity to become a 40,000 MW company by 2012. It plans to add 9,370 MW in the Tenth Plan itself of which 2,000 MW has already been commissioned. Further projects totalling 8,490 MW were at different stages of implementation and another capacity of 5,080 MW was under tendering.

Mr Roy claimed that NTPC aims to become an integrated company soon. Besides power generation, where it has achieved the slot of countrys largest power company, the company has now entered power distribution.

He agreed that a sudden spurt in NTPC income from fiscal 2003 to 2004 was largely due to other income which came as tax-free interest in bonds issued to NTPC as part of one-time settlement scheme. Significantly, the other income in 2003-04 accounted for Rs 6,128 crore.