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Hurdles galore for proposed NTPC thermal power project

Hurdles galore for proposed NTPC thermal power project
Highlights

The Central government is yet to clear the bottlenecks to establish a 4,000 MW thermal power plant at Pudimadaka in the district. 

Visakhapatnam: The Central government is yet to clear the bottlenecks to establish a 4,000 MW thermal power plant at Pudimadaka in the district.

  • The State govt handed over 1,300 acres of land to NTPC to set up the 4,000 MW power project at Pudimaka in Visakhapatnam district
  • It was planned that imported coal will be fuel for the project
  • However, the BJP govt decided to minimise import of coal in view of adequate coal reserves in the country
  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has refused permission for construction of a captive port for the project

Though the project was initiated five years ago and the required land was acquired and handed over to the NTPC to establish the mega power project, the Central government is yet to give its nod for the project.

In fact, the NTPC had paid the money to the State government for the land. The government also handed over 1,300 acres to establish the power plant.

The State government entered into an agreement with NTPC to establish a 4000 MW Ultra Super Critical Power Project at Pudimadaka in the district with imported coal as fuel.

The requisite clearances from Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Defence have been received. Land is available for the main plant. The feasibility report has been approved for the project. The NTPC also established a new office on site and also posted Group General Manager and the office continued for about three years.

However, the BJP government has taken a decision to minimise the coal imports as the domestic coal reserves are adequate. With this, the future of the Pudimadaka plant is in dark, as the entire design of the project has been prepared with imported coal as the fuel.

In the back drop, Rajya Sabha member V Vijayasai Reddy raised the issue in the Parliament on Tuesday and sought the status of the mega project. Responding to the query, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New and Renewable Energy R K Singh said that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has refused permission for construction of captive port for the project to transport coal.

In view of the uncertainties associated with imported coal and fluctuation in prices, it has been decided that the plant be based on domestic coal.
The Ministry of Coal has been requested for grant of Long Term Coal Linkage of higher grade domestic coal and allocation of Captive Coal Block with high grade coal to meet the coal requirement of proposed Pudimadaka Project, the Minister replied.

Responding on the present status of the mega power project, the Minister said that the completion of the project depends on the sanction of requisite clearances, coal linkage and date of award of the project. Typically, the completion time for the project is 48 months from the date of its award, he said.

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