Monday, 30th October 2017

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Coal hope for ultra power plant

Bihar will soon be allotted a coal block for its lone 4000MW ultra mega power project, which the Centre allotted the state last year.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 1.05.15

Bihar will soon be allotted a coal block for its lone 4000MW ultra mega power project, which the Centre allotted the state last year.

Union power minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said the government had taken all efforts for providing quick clearances for coal blocks. 

He added that the Electronic Coal Projects Monitoring Portal (e-CPMP) for ministry of coal had also been developed to fast-track projects recently.

Later, while replying to Congress member Ranjeet Ranjan’s query regarding initiatives taken by the government to strengthen power scenario in the state, Goyal, who also holds the coal & new and renewable energy portfolios, said: “We will soon allot a coal block for the state’s ultra mega power project.”

Goyal, while declaring the commercial operation of the two units — one each at Barh (660MW) and Muzaffarpur (110MW) in the state on November 15, 2014 — promised to allocate soon a coal block to the mega project.

After coming to power, the Union government has expedited several projects, which were going under renovation and modernisation, and it is expected that other power plants such as Barauni may start generation too, he said. 

With this, the Centre has taken a stride further to fulfil the state government’s demand to install a 4000MW ultra mega power project, which would take care of Bihar’s future energy requirement around 2019-20. 

The state would get 2000MW from the mega power project as the Centre has allocated 50 per cent share from the plant.

Asked whether the Centre has informed the state government for allotting a coal block, state energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav told The Telegraph: “The process is underway to allot a coal block to the state. I have learnt that the power ministry has written to the coal ministry for allocation of a coal block to Bihar. I am hopeful of getting the coal block.” 

He, however, feigned ignorance as when the coal block would be awarded to the state.

The Union government last year had given its nod to set up a 4000MW ultra mega power project in Banka district. 

The project would require 2,440 acres land and 120 cusecs of water availability, sources said while putting the investment figure of Rs 28,000 crore for the project. 

“We have identified the land and water resources department has given its clearance for the usage of 120 cusecs of Ganga water. 

The clearance from Central Water Commission is awaited in this regard. The state government would play the role of facilitator in the land acquisition for the project,” Bijendra said earlier. The project is not making any headway due to the Centre’s failure to allot coal block for the power project. One coal block of adequate capacity and reserve of 20 million tonnes per annum will be required for the project.

In the absence of coal block allocation for the project, Power Finance Corporation, nodal agency to execute the project, could not form an SPV which in turn would float international bidding for the project on built-own-and-operate basis, a senior official, preferring anonymity, said adding that the project will be developed on “plug-and-play” model — winners of the contract/bid can start implementing the project immediately without worrying about all the regulatory clearances.