Days after her government’s green signal to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday said the plant is expected to commence production in two months.

She said this in the Assembly, elaborating on steps to increase energy availability in the state hit by power crisis.

The government had recently given its go ahead to the Indo-Russian project at Kudankulam, where work was stalled for several months, following protest by anti-nuclear activists over safety concerns. Work on the first two units, each capable of producing 1000 MW, is almost complete.

The state government had given the green signal after maintaining silence for several months on commissioning of KNPP, paving the way for immediate resumption of work.

Both the central and state expert panels had certified the plant as safe.

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, spearheading the stir against the project, withdrew its nine-day indefinite fast yesterday, but is continuing the agitation.

Responding to members’ observation that the budget did not contain any power projects, she said the AIADMK government had added 2,518 MW during its previous tenure in 2001-2006 as against 206 MW during the last DMK regime.

More projects

Listing the steps to ease the power crisis, Ms. Jayalalithaa said her government had decided to implement the Rs 3960 crore 660 MW Ennore Thermal Power Station replacement project.

She said it would be an ‘environmental friendly’ project with advanced ‘Supercritical technology’ in which less coal would be consumed and more power generated.

The expansion project replacing the four-decade old Ennore Thermal Power Station is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2015.

On the 800 MW Tuticorin Thermal Power Station project a consultant has been appointed for a feasibility study. .

“This project will be implemented by end of 2015,” she said.

Similarly, as a first step to the 1600 MW Udangudi Super Critical Thermal Power Project, a feasibility study had also been undertaken. “This project would be commissioned in the financial year 2015—16”, the Chief Minister said.

Referring to the 600MW North Chennai Thermal Power Station Stage two project, Ms. Jayalalitha said the first unit would be commissioned in August 2012 and the second in December.

“The 600 MW Mettur Thermal Power Station Stage-three project will be commissioned before June 2012 and the State would get its full capability by September”, she said.

She said the first unit of 1000 MW Vallur Thermal Power Project, jointly executed with Nuclear Thermal Power Corporation, would commence production in June and the second unit by November. “The third unit will be commissioned by June 2013,” she said.

“My government has been taking various new projects to address the power shortage”, she said.

The prevailing power cuts would be gradually reduced from June this year, she added.

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