NTPC Simhadri Super Thermal Plant has turned into a beehive of activity to synchronise its stage-II expansion project comprising two units of 500 MW a month ahead of schedule.

“We are making all efforts commission the first unit of stage-II (third unit overall) by December 2010 and the fourth unit by February 2011,” new General Manager in-charge of the plant D.K. Sood told The Hindu on Thursday.

Mr. Sood, who came on transfer to Deepanjalinagar where Simhadri project is located, from Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Project in Kayamkulam (Kerala), said the work on chimneys, 165-meter height cooling towers, boilers and installation of other facilities was going on at brisk pace. The original schedule to complete the 1,000 MW stage-II state-of-the-art project costing Rs.5,038 crore was March 2011.

While the entire power generated from stage-I comprising two units of 500 MW each is being supplied to Andhra Pradesh Government as part of a memorandum of understanding, for stage-II Gadgil formula will be followed. Power will be supplied to State grid and later the Central Government will distribute power to various States.

Asked to comment whether they had any plans to expand its capacity once stage-II project was completed, he said as of now there was no such proposal.

Mr. Sood said they were meeting shortfall in supply of coal required for the plant from Mahanadi Coalfields, Talcher by getting the raw material from Singareni and importing part of the requirement from Indonesia. The plant's daily requirement of coal is 17,000 tonnes, which will be doubled once the expansion is completed.