Staff Reporter

The 4,000 MW capacity facility will be based on imported coal, says Union Power Minister

Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojna to cover all districts in the State

Union Minister allays fears over pollution from thermal power units

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the proposed ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Sundargarh district is yet to take off, the Union Power Ministry has offered another 4,000 MW UMPP to the State that will be based on imported coal.

“I have discussed with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik the issue of having another UMPP in the State that is based on coastal coal to be brought from outside the country,” Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony of the three eye-care units sponsored by the NTPC Limited here on Wednesday.

The proposed unit would be of 4,000 mw costing some $4 billion (approximately Rs. 16,000 crores), Mr. Shinde said. “I have suggested the project to Mr. Patnaik and he has accepted,” he said.

Mr. Shinde said: “We have already nine UMPPs proposed in the country. Mundra in Gujarat is based on imported coal and Sassan in Madhya Pradesh has already been handed over to the implementing agencies.”

The Ministry had initially planned five UMPPs. But, on requests from the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, two more such projects were allotted. The project to be developed in Orissa would be a pithead one and coal would be sourced from Ib-Valley coalfield.

He also announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojna (RGGVY) would be extended to all districts of Orissa. At present, only three districts had been covered under the Central scheme.

‘No dearth of funds’

“We will cover all the rural pockets of the country under the scheme by 2009. The Cabinet has taken a decision in this regard. All required funds will be made available for implementation of the scheme,” the Union Power Minister said.

There would not be shortage of coal for thermal power projects in the country, he added.

Reacting to growing concern regarding pollution caused by thermal power projects, the Union Minister said: “We are a signatory to the Kyoto protocol and we will take care of pollution generated from thermal power projects. We are introducing supercritical coal fired power technology in power projects having capacity of more than 800 MW.”

Earlier L.I. Parija, former Chief Secretary of Orissa, raised concern over carbon emission due to thermal projects. “Some 1,018 kg carbon dioxide is generated from every mw power generation per hour. A 1,000 MW-capacity project will generate 72 lakh tonne carbon dioxide in a year,” Mr. Parija said.