T. Ramakrishnan

It is 3 km off Cheyyur-Madurantakam road in Kancheepuram district

CHENNAI: The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has identified a cluster of villages in Kancheepuram district for the 4,000-megawatt (MW) Ultra Mega Power Project promoted by the Power Finance Corporation (PFC).

Three thousand acres are needed for the project. The CEA chose the villages in January after officials considered a few sites.

The proposed site, covering Cheyyur, Chitrakadu, Vedal, Panaiyur and Gengadevankuppam villages, is 3 km from the Cheyyur-Madurantakam road.

"Our project is independent of the NTPC's (National Thermal Power Corporation) project," Shyam Wadhera, Director (Projects) of the PFC, told The Hindu , after meeting Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veerasamy, Energy Secretary R. Satapathy and senior officials of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board here on Wednesday.

[In the late 1990s, the NTPC proposed a power plant at Cheyyur, about 100 km from Chennai, but this did not take off due to environmental objections].

Mr. Wadhera said since a port link was crucial for the project, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board had entrusted pre-feasibility and feasibility studies to the National Institute of Port Management. The reports were expected shortly.

Once the State Government firmed up the port link, the corporation would initiate preparatory work such as the formation of a shell company.

He said Tamil Nadu was keen on the project and wanted 1,600 MW of power to be allocated to it. It had paid Rs. 16 crore as commitment money. Various States had paid a total of Rs. 28.5 crore. In addition to the southern States, some northern States had also expressed interest in participating in the project.

Krishnapatnam project

About another ultra mega power project coming up at Krishnapatnam in Nellore district, he said the processing of bids would start by April. About a dozen companies had cleared the pre-qualification test. There were six consortia consisting of foreign partners. Tamil Nadu had been allocated 800 MW and had paid Rs. 8 crore as commitment money.