An Environment Ministry panel has given permission to state-run NTPC for transporting imported coal to its Farakka Thermal Power Plant in West Bengal via national waterways for another 6 months till January 2017.
In July 2014, NTPC was given temporary permission to transport imported coal, up to 1.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), for one year. It was later extended for one more year till June 2016 with a condition that the company will submit a detailed study to the ministry.
NTPC, however, sought further extension saying the study is underway and it would require another six months for its completion.
The NTPC’s proposal was discussed in the latest meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Environment Ministry.
“The EAC recommended for continuation of the permission for transport of maximum 1.5 MTPA coal through NW-1 for another six months up to January 31, 2017 subject to continuation of the study being carried out by CIFRI and submission of the additional information sought earlier,” a senior government official said.
The final phase of the Farakka plant was commissioned in March 2011. The project supplies electricity to West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim, Assam and Tripura.
The country’s largest power producer, NTPC has an installed capacity of 47,178 MW. It has a capacity of over 24,000 MW under different phases of construction presently.