NTPC to set up 750-mw power project in Assam

New Delhi, May 30 | Updated: May 31 2007, 05:30am hrs
State-run NTPC Ltd, the countrys biggest electricity generating utility, on Wednesday signed a pact with Assam government to set up a 750 mw coal-fired plant in the state at an estimated cost of Rs 3,750 crore.

The Bongaigaon project, NTPCs first power plant in the north-east region, is expected to start generating electricity from the first 250 mw unit by 2009-end. The second unit is likely to be completed in 2010-11 and the third by 2011-12.

The project will go a long way in solving the power crisis in Assam," chief minister Tarun Gogoi said after an MoU was signed between NTPC, the state government and Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd here.

The power station will come up at the existing facilities of the now-defunct Bongaigaon Thermal Power Station of Assam State Electricity Board.

The project will give a boost to power generation in the north-eastern region in general and Assam in particular, NTPC chairman and managing director T Sankarlingam said.

NTPC has obtained coal linkages of 1.65 million tonnes per year from North-East Coalfields Ltd and 0.97 MTPA from Eastern Coalfields Ltd. The coal will come from Margherita fields in upper Assam initially and later from ECL.

This is for the first time NTPC is setting up a power station in Assam and I hope they will be able to complete the project ahead of time, Power secretary Anil Razdan said. Sankarlingam said NTPC was looking at new projects, including hydroelectric plants, in the north-eastern region. Assam has a peak demand of 800 mw and peak shortfall of 150 mw. The shortfall increases to around 200 mw in lean hydro season and the Bongaigoan project will reduce the statesdependence on hydro power.