The standing linkage committee of the coal ministry has recommended fresh coal linkage of 2.8 MTPA for NTPC under the Shakti scheme for 500 MW generation capacity at its recently-acquired Barauni power plant.
The two 250 MW units, for which the linkage has been sought, have already been commissioned, though they have not started commercial production. The 720 MW plant already has coal supply agreement for 220 MW capacity. However, allocation of coal to the plant under Shakti is contingent on approvals of other authorities.
The Shakti scheme was specifically designed to salvage power plants with power purchase agreements but without fuel supply agreements. Under the scheme, coal linkages have been granted to 10 power plants with 11,549 MW capacity.
The Barauni plant is one of the three stations for which NTPC had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bihar government in May for takeover. Of these, the 770 MW Muzaffarpur thermal power station and the under-construction 1,980 MW Nabinagar super thermal power project were partially owned by NTPC through joint ventures with the Bihar State Power Generation Company. The transfer of ownership of the Barauni plant, which was owned by the Bihar government, has been completed.
The committee has also recommended bridge linkages to a 500 MW unit at the Ukai power plant and an 800 MW unit at the Wanakbori station. Both the plants are owned by Gujarat State Electricity Corporation.
Bridge linkages are temporary supply contracts for state-owned generation units which have been allotted coal blocks, but mines are yet to commence production. The two Gujarat units have been allotted the Gare Palma 1 block, which is expected to be operational in December 2022.