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Power puffed by Maithon
1050MW Tata-DVC plant chugs to life

Dhanbad, Sept. 14: A Rs 5,000cr joint venture between Tata Power and DVC is finally bearing fruit with the resultant 1,050MW power plant beginning operations in Maithon by commissioning one of its two units in what could be the beginning of a new era of industrialisation in Jharkhand.

Maithon Power Ltd, in which the Tatas and DVC hold 74:26 stake, is being touted as the country’s first greenfield power project under public-private partnership.

As of now, Maithon Power is generating 350MW from one of its two units and supplying to the national capital of New Delhi and DVC.

“Production began at the plant from September 1 and the first unit will be fully functional within 10-15 days with production rising to full capacity of 525MW,” Pravir Sinha, director of Maithon Power Ltd, told a group of journalists in Maithon, about 40km from Dhanbad.

By December, both units are expected to function at optimum levels of 525MW each. But, Jharkhand will have to wait till April 2012 to start getting its share of power from the Maithon plant.

Sinha, who is also a senior vice-president with Tata Power, said Maithon Power had signed agreements to supply power to four states, namely West Bengal, Delhi, Punjab, besides hosts Jharkhand, and Damodar Valley Corporation.

The plant, which has been commissioned in seven years, is the fallout of one of the largest investment Jharkhand has seen since it was carved out of Bihar in 2000.

From April next year, Maithon Power would supply 250MW to Jharkhand. Of this, 100MW would come directly from the plant, while the remaining 150MW would be provided by DVC.

DVC is expected to get 300 MW from Maithon Power.

According to Sinha, state-of the-art technology to ensure minimal pollution had been used in the plant that would consume 5,000 tonne coal for each of its two units. “Maithon Power has tied up with Bharat Coking Coal Limited (CCL) and Central Coalfield Limited (CCL) to ensure uninterrupted supply of coal,” he said.

Next year, Sinha added, they would add two more units of 660MW each with an additional investment of Rs 6,000 crore.

“State-of-the-art technology has been used in the entire plant and low-nox burners are being used in chimneys with high quality electrostatic precipitators which cause less pollution,” said Maithon Power CEO Praveen Churgure.

The plant is expected to be inaugurated formally by chief minister Arjun Munda after Diwali.

Maithon Power, Sinha explained, had various plans for the people of the region. More than 350 local residents would be trained in self-employment skills.

“We are planning extensive activities under CSR (corporate social responsibility) once full-fledged production starts,” he said.

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