B. S. Satish Kumar

The corporation is said to be seeking 2,700 acres for project

Earlier, the NTPC had shown interest in setting up only a 2,000 MW plant

NTPC officials are said to be happy with the proposed site

BANGALORE: The State Government is learnt to have decided to give land at Kudigi in Bijapur district to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), which has now come forward to set up a 4,000 MW plant in Karnataka.

Earlier, the NTPC had shown interest in setting up only a 2,000 MW plant in the State. Already two rounds of consultations have been held between officials of the State Government and the NTPC.

The NTPC officials, who visited the proposed site, are said to be happy with the location. They are said to be seeking 2,700 acres of land.

The MoU to be signed between the State Government and the NTPC for setting up the proposed power plant is expected to be finalised within the next two rounds of talks.

The issue will come up before the State Cabinet at its next meeting.

If everything goes well, the NTPC will commence work on setting up five generating units with a capacity of 800 MW each in phase one itself. It is going to be the biggest power generation project ever implemented in the State.

Interestingly, the land which is proposed to be given to the NTPC, had originally been identified for setting up a 4,000 MW power plant proposed by the State Government itself. But, the Centre had given its consent for a capacity of only 2,000 MW. Following this, the State is still making efforts to convince the Centre to increase the capacity.

But the State decided to give the same land to the NTPC as it wanted to set up a 4,000 MW plant. According to a senior official in the power sector, the NTPC’s proposal has come as a boon to the State. Because, the State was supposed to call for tenders to implement its own proposed power plant which would have cost Rs. 20,000 crore. Any company, which implements this project, should raise equity of about Rs. 4,000 crore. But it would be difficult to find a private company which can easily invest Rs. 4,000 crore at this time of recession, according to sources.

Besides, the NTPC can implement the project at least 18 months earlier than the one proposed by the State as it would save time in following some of the formalities.

Normally, the NTPC would provide about 40 per cent of power generated from the plant to the host State.

However, the State is planning to ask for more share from this plant. On its part, the State Government has to provide the land and water for the project.

The water requirement, which is estimated to be around 5 tmcft would be taken care of from the Alamatti reservoir.

Meanwhile, highly placed sources in the Government made it clear that the State would not halt its efforts to convince the Centre to allocate a separate 4,000 MW power plant.

If the Centre gives clearance for such a plant, then it could be implemented in Mannur which was about 10 km from Kudigi, the sources noted.

Besides, it is advantageous to set up the State’s power plant after the NTPC sets up its plant as it can share some of the crucial infrastructure — such as rail link to Goa port to transport the imported coal — which would be created for the NTPC plant.

It is the first time that the NTPC has offered to set up a power plant in Karnataka.