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Dues unpaid, Anil skips power show

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 26: Anil Ambani’s Reliance Energy Limited (REL) did not turn up at today’s MoU signing ceremony in which 10 companies inked pacts with the state government to generate 10,920 MW of power at a proposed investment of Rs 46,811 crore.

REL, which holds majority stakes in three power distribution companies in Orissa — Nesco, Wesco and Southco — owes around Rs 2,000 crore to Gridco, the state’s power generation agency.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has made it clear that the company has to pay up its dues before it talks business with the state.

Reliance Energy intends to set up a coal-based 4,000 MW thermal power plant at Hirma in Jharsuguda district with an investment of Rs 16,236 crore in the first phase. A Reliance Energy official said the MoU would be signed in October.

The biggest project signed today was by the Anil Agarwal-owned Sterlite Energy with a 2,400-MW project proposed at Bhurkund in Dhenkanal district at an estimated investment of Rs 7,481 crore. The Lanco Group intends to set up a 1,320-MW project at Babandh village of Dhenkanal district by pumping in Rs 4,200 crore. Tata Power, in its maiden foray into the energy sector in Orissa, plans to set up a 10,000-MW coal-based project at Naraj Marthapur near Cuttack with an investment of around Rs 9,000 crore.

Energy secretary Asit Tripathy today signed MoUs with representatives of the companies. Bhushan Energy, CESC, Essar Power, Jindal Photofilms, Visa Power also signed the MoUs to set up coal-fired thermal plants of 1,000 MW capacity each in Angul, Dhenkanal and Cuttack districts. KVK Nilachal Power and Monnet Ispat & Energy have proposed plants of 600 MW each.

The companies have agreed to contribute Rs 6 paise per unit of energy sent out from the plants, but not sold in the state, towards an environment management fund, besides a nominated agency will have the right to purchase up to 25 per cent of the power sent out at tariff set by Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission. “The state will earn Rs 1,790 crore per year as revenue from these plants. There is scope for direct employment of 10,000 people from the state and additional 20,000 indirectly,” Patnaik said.

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