The power ministry has indicated that a 660MW National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) unit could get operational commercially in Barh, 60km east of Patna, as early as the end of June.
According to sources, power, coal and renewable energy minister of state (independent charge) Piyush Goyal on Thursday told the group of MPs from the state, led by former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, that Barh–II Unit 4 of NTPC would start functioning within the next two to three weeks. The group has urged the Centre to expedite the pending power projects in Bihar.
The group demanded that the Centre should consider enabling more power supply to Bihar along with resolution of issues related to assistance under central schemes.
Late on Thursday evening, former deputy chief minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi issued a press statement saying Piyush Goyal would inaugurate the plant on June 26.
The major pending projects discussed included Barh - II, ultra mega power plant in Banka and renovation and modernisation of state sector plant in Barauni with a capacity of 210MW. Sources said coal allocation issues relating to ultra mega power projects in Bihar expected to produce 4,000MW were also discussed.
Elaborating the coal block allocation in Bihar, a senior official in the ministry said: “The coal ministry has agreed to allocate a coal block for Bihar ultra mega power projects. The issue of setting up 1,320MW Buxar thermal power project by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) also came up for discussion. According to the MoU between SJVNL (a joint venture between the central and the Himachal Pradesh governments) and Bihar, 85 per cent of power from the project is to be supplied into the transmission grid of the state.”
“The ministry of coal has already allocated Deocha Pachami coal block (2102MT) located in Bengal for this project with six state power utilities. The certificate of possession of private land has been issued by the district land acquisition officer, Buxar, for 1,048.72 acres. The cabinet approval for diversion of 13.34 acres of government land has also been obtained,” said the official.
Regarding allocation of power from central sector plants, the state delegation said at present, the central sector share for Bihar is 1,918MW from six central sector plants and three plants situated in Bhutan. These are NTPC plants of Farrakka, Kahalgaon, Barh and Talcher in the thermal sector, and also hydro plants such as Rangit (North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited), Teesta – V (National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) as well as power plants situated in Chukha, Kurichu and Tala.
“This allocation would be enhanced to 3,365MW from the forthcoming three central sector projects such as Barh-I units 1, 2 and 3, Barh-II unit 1 and 2, Muzzaffarpur extension unit 1 and 2 . Bihar will also benefit from three other central sector projects at Buxar, Pirpanti, Lakhisarai apart from share in at least two private sector plants such as Essar, GMR, etc,” added the official. Bihar has only one power plant in the state sector in Barauni under renovation. “At present, 2,346MW power demand is being met from the central sector plant, state sector and from power procured through exchange. The minister was told that the energy deficit is reported to be about 4.6 per cent,” said the official.