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Essar power boost for state

Ranchi, Oct. 4: The state signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) today with Essar Power Jharkhand Limited which is setting up a 1,800MW thermal plant in Naxalite-infested Latehar district that is expected to be partially commissioned by the end of next year.

The PPA, which ensures Jharkhand would get 450 MW of power from the plant in future, was signed as per norms set in the company’s 2007 MoU with the state government. Essar Group has been allocated two coal blocks — Ashok Kerketta (North Karanpura) and Chakla (Latehar) — for the Tori Project that is coming up in Chandwa of Latehar.

In the first phase, the company aims to start production of 600 MW from a single unit. The plant would have three units in all that will ensure a total production capacity of 1,800MW.

Today’s event comes days after Adhunik Power & Natural Resources Limited also signed a PPA with Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB).

Adhunik Group, has, however, recorded good progress in its project. It is expected to generate 270MW in the first phase by this month. The group plans to set up four units 270MW each.

Adhunik’s senior executive president A. Prasad said they had already signed a PPA with JSEB according to which the state would get 25 per cent electricity at a fixed tariff. “We will start production from the power plant in Kandra of Seraikela-Kharsawan soon.”

Today’s PPA singing was graced by JSEB chairman S.N. Verma, Essar Group senior vice-president (commercial) Ashok Singh, general manager Lav Kumar and Tori Project executive director D.P. Sinha.

A third power project, which was expected to come up early next year, was that of Abhijeet Group-owned Corporate Power Limited. “We are aiming to start production from the first half of 2013. A PPA is yet to be signed with the state government,” said a senior company official.

Abhijeet Group plans to set up a 1,740MW power plant near Chandwa in the vicinity of the Essar plant. It will have four units of 270MW each, besides another unit of 660MW.