Power utility CESC Ltd. on Friday said, it is planning to add hydel power generation capacity of 5,000 MW.

“We are looking at buying some licenses, which are up for sale...Going forward, we intend to add 5,000 MW hydel capacity,” Vice-Chairman of CESC, Sanjiv Goenka told reporters here.

He said this would be the first time the company would foray into other ways of power generation than thermal production, without revealing the time-frame over which this capacity (5,000 MW) addition would be made.

The company would set up a 140-MW hydel power plant at Lara Sunta in Himachal Pradesh at a cost of Rs. 700 crore to start with, he said, adding that the contract was awarded by the state government, he added.

He said environment and ‘four seasons’ studies are currently going on for the project.

To a query, he said the possible locations for other projects would be the north-east region and Himachal Pradesh.

Goenka said in the next six years, CESC’s total generation capacity, both thermal and hydel, would be around 6,500-7,000 MW.

The present thermal generation capacity is at 975 MW.

Regarding CESC’s 600-MW Haldia power plant, Goenka said, the contract would be awarded in February, adding that the plant would be set up by a Chinese company without divulging the name.

Goenka said the capacity of Budge Budge plant in West Bengal would soon be raised by 250 MW to touch 750 MW.

He said returns from Budge Budge would accrue partially this fiscal. “Full returns will come next year,” he added.

CESC is looking at getting coal mines in countries like Mozambique and Australia, Goenka said, adding, “We are looking at long-term contracts in overseas mines,” he said.

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