| Barauni Thermal Power Plant. Telegraph picture |
A three-member team of Tokyo-based Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Tuesday visited Barauni Thermal Power Plant to get first-hand knowledge of the ground situation at the unit.
Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) proposes to set up a 250MW thermal power project, replacing the two old 50MW plants closed since 1995-96. This would be in addition to the board’s proposal to set up two additional plant of 250MW each capacity as part of its expansion plan.
The Centre has recently given the plant a tapering coal linkage till Urmapahari coal block — jointly allocated to Bihar and Jharkhand — starts production. Tapering coal linkage is the linkage provide to coal consumers for a temporary period.
The three-member contact mission of JICA — which is on state visit from August 5 to 8 — comprises deputy director Y. Ehara, country officer A. Tachikawa and lead development specialist S. Khanna. The contact mission team was accompanied by the board’s member (generation), Lalan Prasad, and chief engineer (projects), A.K. Verma, to assist the team.
The JICA members met the board chairman and other senior officers on Monday to discuss the various issues for setting up a 250MW power plant at Barauni.
“The contact mission’s response is positive. They would now go ahead according to their schedule that envisages 11 stages for making assessment before sanctioning the loan. Sending the contact mission is the first step,” BSEB director (public relations) H. R. Pandey told The Telegraph.
Board member (generation) Lalan Prasad said: “This is basically a fact fining team to assess the ground reality or to make physical verification. The board has already submitted a detailed project report (DPR) regarding the project and the team just wanted to get the first-hand understanding of the situation.”
The board got the DPR prepared from NTPC in 2010 and submitted the same to Central Electricity Authority that approved it in 2011. The project, initially, was to be funded by World Bank but later it retracted from funding the project as it did not suit the benchmark fixed by World Bank for setting power plants, a top board official sources told The Telegraph.
“The benchmark of the World Bank is for big power projects which may serve public at large or has its social impact. Project like this one — the 250MW-unit — is just like capacity addition plant because it would not serve any social purpose,” a source in the power board said.
“The land and water required for the plant is available at Barauni Thermal Power Station,” Pandey said, adding that the state government has written to the Centre for granting coal linkage — a pre-requisite for getting JICA loan.