Chief Minster Jayalalithaa has given approval to the ETPS (Ennore Thermal Power Station) Replacement Project of 600 megawatt (MW), setting the process formally for the closure of the four-decade-old ETPS.

A few days ago, the Chief Minister's nod was obtained for the project, according to an official. The proposed plant will be established, using state-of-the-art technology.

Environment-friendly

It will be environment-friendly and less coal consuming. It will, more or less, consume the present quantity of coal required for five units of 450-MW ETPS, but it will generate more electricity, the official explains.

The new plant, estimated to cost Rs. 3,600 crore, will come up at the site where the ETPS is now located. It will be set up over 90 acres and there will be no land acquisition. It is, according to an official release on Sunday, expected to start functioning by the end of 2015.

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) will now approach the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for environmental clearance, the most crucial approval required before the project's launch.

This plant is in addition to another 600-MW unit that has been proposed in Ennore. The other project – Ennore Annexe – is to take off soon as the TANGEDCO is expected to float bids in a month. As per the present schedule, work on the Ennore Annexe project will begin by June 2012 and will be completed by September 2015. The probable date of commissioning is December 2015.

For both projects, the authorities are planning to draw coal from the Mandakini-B coal block in Orissa. This block, having a tentative reserve capacity of 1,200 million tonnes, was allotted to Tamil Nadu in 2007.

It is to be shared by the Odisha State Mining Corporation, the Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation, the Assam Mineral Development Corporation and the the TANGEDCO in equal proportion.

At the same time, the State power authorities are planning to use imported coal for the two proposed units. The design of boilers will have provision for a harmonious blend of the two sources of coal.

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