This is the first major unit to be commissioned by the private sector in UP. Two other units of the plant are in advanced stages of completion
The Bajaj Hindusthan group’s Rs 16,000 crore Lalitpur Power Generation Co (LPGCL) on Sunday commissioned its first unit (of 660 MW) at the supercritical thermal plant at Mirchwara, in Uttar Pradesh’s Lalitpur district.
The project has come up on an area of 1,300 acres of land. This is the first major unit to be commissioned by the private sector in the present Akhilesh Yadav government.
The other two units of the plant are in an advanced stage of completion and are scheduled for commissioning in December 2015 and April 2016 respectively. The main plant package is being executed by BHEL, while other important packages have been undertaken by L&T, Simplex and Paharpur.
LPGCL, a part of the Bajaj group, had signed an MoU with the Uttar Pradesh government in April 2010 for setting up a 1,980 MW (3 units of 660 MW each) state-of-the-art Super Critical Thermal Power Plant at Lalitpur in the Bundelkhand region.
According to sources, the plant is yet to secure a permanent, long-term coal linkage for its three units. “At present, the company has secured temporary coal availability for only 1,320 MW power for its first and second units only from CCL, while it is still negotiating for the coal linkage for its third unit,” said a source adding that the total power produced from this project will be supplied to the UP State discoms as per regulated tariff.
The project comes at a time when the state government is aggressively targeting to increase power availability from the current 10,000 MW to over 20,000 MW by 2016-17.
During this time, it aims at providing at least 16 hours and 24 hours of power in the rural and urban areas of the state, respectively.
LPGCL will contribute to this target and is expected to reduce the state’s dependence on the energy exchange and consequently, lowering congestion on the transmission network.
Speaking on the occasion, Kushagra Nayan Bajaj, vice chairman, Bajaj Group commented that the commencement of LPGCL strengthens the presence of the Bajaj Group as a major power producer in Uttar Pradesh. “We already have a presence through the 450 MW thermal power capacity of Bajaj Energy. This marks an important milestone in our expansion efforts,” he said.
A lot of hype and excitement was built over the fact that chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was expected to inaugurate the unit, especially in the backdrop of his open invitation to investors at the Mumbai Investors’ Conclave last week that UP will welcome investors with open arms. But his last minute cancellation left the organisers as well as the entire administration high and dry.
“We had hoped that by ensuring his presence at one of the biggest investment projects in the state, the chief minister will boost the confidence that the industry had shown in the state, but his sudden and inexplicable, last minute dropout simply poured water on our hopes that the state government is serious about inviting investment and extending a helping hand to investors,” said a dejected industrialist who was present at the event, adding that it clearly shows that investment and investors are definitely not a priority for the UP government.