Chennai citizens have to wait for at least for nine more months for the commissioning of two major power projects that are coming up near the city.

Both projects - 1,200-megawatt (MW) North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) expansion and 1,000-MW Vallur power project - are being executed on nearby plots in Ponneri taluk of Tiruvallur district, about 25 km north of the city.

Of the two units of 500 MW each in Vallur, one unit is expected to be completed by October and another by December.

With respect to the North Chennai project, two units of 600 MW each will start generation by January next year.

While the State will get about 70 per cent of power generated at Vallur, it will get full share from the NCTPS expansion project, says a senior official of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), one of the successor-entities of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB).

What is more significant is that it is after a gap of 15 years that two major power projects are coming up in and around Chennai.

In full swing

A visit to the 1,500-megawatt power project site at Vallur organised by the TANGEDCO last week revealed that construction activity was in full swing. The site was teeming with activity as workers were engaged in civil and technical works using cranes, pile machines and concrete mixers.

Over two-thirds of the civil and technical works of the Vallur project had been completed.

A senior official of the NTPC-Tamil Nadu Energy Company Limited (NTECL), a joint venture between NTPC and the TNEB, said the initial plan was to have only two units of 500 MW each. But it was later decided to set up one more unit of the same size, as project cost could be minimised and resources could be utilised efficiently. The additional 500-MW unit would be covered under the second stage of the project. The first stage of the project is estimated to cost Rs. 5,423.54 crore and the second stage Rs. 3,020 crore.

According to the official, the State's share from the three units of the power project will be 1,040 MW.

An NTECL official says: “The State government had allotted 1,000 acres of land. But there was delay in commencing the project as the land was being used for making salt. As it is also prone to flooding, the site development work of filling up the land took a lot of time.”

In the case of the North Chennai project, which is fully funded by the State utility, the total cost of two units is approximately Rs. 4,775 crore.


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