Eco-nod to Patratu power plant

Ranchi: The Union ministry of environment and forests has given environment clearance to phase I of the proposed Patratu Super Thermal Power Plant in Ramgarh to set the ball rolling for civil works soon and likely production by 2021.

The power plant undertaken by Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam, a joint venture between Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam and National Thermal Power Corporation, is proposed in two phases -3x800MW and 2x800MW - making its total capacity 4,000MW.

The entire power project is said to cost around Rs 16,000 crore, with NTPC financing it and the state participating in a cashless equity while providing land and water linkages.

On Monday, Rahul Purwar, managing director of state's power generating and distribution companies Jharkhand Bijli Utpadan Nigam and Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam, said with the environment clearance, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd roped in by the joint venture company could start constructing the plant's first phase (3x800MW).

"For this phase, to the best of my knowledge, all mandatory clearances have been received. If all goes well, we are eyeing production from this phase by 2021," Purwar said, adding that once civil works for phase I began, paperwork for phase II clearances would start simultaneously.

Once the plant is complete, of the total production, Jharkhand will get 35 per cent for its own use and the rest would be sold (by the JV) at competitive prices, Purwar added.

In May 2015, the state and NTPC signed an MoU to set up this 4,000MW plant in Patratu to replace the existing ailing 840MW one after which the JV Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam was floated in October that year. In it, Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam holds 26 per cent stake and NTPC the rest.

The ailing Patratu plant shut this January.

Purwar added that the state was also exploring options on the semi-built power plant in Chandwa, Latehar, once owned by Abhijeet Group. Recently, Mumbai-based Assets Reconstruction Company (India) Ltd (Arcil), which acquired the properties of the plant to auction/sell them and repay loans of over Rs 5,000 crore to a consortium of banks and financial institutions, told the state they had not yet found bidders/buyers.

"The state government is mulling whether to invest on its own or form a joint venture but nothing concrete has been arrived at," Purwar said.

Protest by displaced

Families displaced by Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam staged a daylong sit-in before the company's main gate in Patratu, Ramgarh, on Monday, demanding their dues.


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