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Coal linkage letter to panel

Patna, Jan. 2: Chief minister Nitish Kumar has written a letter to Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on the coal linkage requirement of Bihar.

The letter, dated January 1, refers to the statement made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs speech during the National Development Council (NDC) meet in New Delhi on December 27 in which he had asked the states to write to the Planning Commission on pending coal linkage for thermal power projects. For the last two years, the state government has been harping on coal linkages for its ongoing thermal plants.

Nitish, in the letter, has stressed that his government had been involved in capacity addition of the existing thermal power plants as well as development of green-field projects to meet the increasing demands for power. He pointed out that the coal requirement for Barauni Thermal Power Plant expansion of 2X250MW is 2.65 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). The ministry of coal accorded an in-principle approval for tapering coal linkage for this project linking with Urma Pahari Tola coal block, which is being developed by joint venture of Bihar and Jharkhand. A letter of assurance in respect of tapering coal linkage is yet to be issued, Nitish stated in the letter, stressing that the prospecting licence for Urma Pahari Tola coal block had been obtained in August last year.

He added that one more unit of 250MW has been proposed at Barauni Thermal Power Plant for which 1.5MTPA coal would be required. He pointed out that the existing 110MW units in Barauni and Muzaffarpur Thermal Power Plants were under renovation and modernization by BHEL have fuel supply agreement of 0.34 MTPA and 0.5MTPA, respectively. After renovation and modernization of the four 110MW existing units, the fuel supply agreement quantity will be required to be increased to 1.3MTPA each, he emphasised.

Nitish also mentioned that the bidding projects being developed in the state at Chausa, Kajra and Pirpainti.

Each project will have 1,329MW capacity and the coal requirement of 6.25MTPA each, he said. He added that the Union ministry of power had agreed for additional 3X660MW stage-II power plant at Nabinagar in Aurangabad districts. It is a joint venture project of the Bihar State Housing Co. Ltd and NTPC for which 11.25MTPA coal would be required.

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