Special Correspondent

Project has been jointly promoted by NTPC, TNEB

  • Environmental clearance unavailable for Cheyyur project: Sankaralingam
  • NTPC, Singareni Collieries Company sign MoU to participate in coal, power sectors

    CHENNAI: The construction of the proposed 1,000 megawatt (MW) coal-based thermal power plant at Ennore, on the northern outskirts of Chennai, is expected to begin by March 2007.

    This was announced at a press conference chaired by T. Sankaralingam, Chairman and Managing Director of NTPC (formerly National Thermal Power Corporation) Limited, which along with the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, is promoting the project.

    The notice for inviting tenders (NIT) for the project is likely to be issued next week, he said.

    As for the environmental clearance, Mr. Sankaralingam said an official committee under the Union Environment and Forests Ministry would meet by this month end to give the go-ahead.

    Indicating the Corporation's keenness to revive the Cheyyur thermal power project, he said the project had not received environmental clearance.

    Anna University had been approached for marking the high tide line to ascertain the extent to which the Coastal Regulation Zone norms applied to the project.

    Reiterating the NTPC's interest in nuclear power production, the Mr. Sankaralingam said that it depended on the Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear deal. He said the Corporation was looking for possible sites in Tamil Nadu.

    Expansion plan

    The tenders for the expansion of a thermal power station at Simhadri (near Vishkhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh) had been issued and an international competitive bidding process would follow. It was planned to enhance the capacity by 1,000 MW (over the existing 1,000 MW). NTPC had signed a memorandum of understanding with Singareni Colleries Company for forming a joint venture to participate in coal and power sectors.

    The Corporation, with power plants of about 26,404 MW, planned to take the capacity to about 51,000 MW in five years and become a 75,000 MW company by 2017.

    The Union Government had decided to remove the ceiling of Rs.1,000 crore on the NTPC for forming joint ventures. This move was meant to enable the Corporation to take part in the Ultra Mega Power Projects.

    The Corporation also proposed to produce about 50 million tonnes of coal by 2017 to meet 25 per cent of its total requirements from its own mines.

    It had been allocated five coal mining blocks. Under the Centre's "Partnership in Excellence" programme to improve the performance of under-performing power plants belonging to State utilities, the Central utility had been given 15 stations.

    Mr. Sankaralingam explained how a Jharkhand plant had recorded a plant load factor of 101.3 per cent, after the implementation of the programme.