New Delhi : 20/July/2015
Coal Rich Odisha is all set to get an Ultra Mega Power Plant.
The Union Ministry of Power has offered Odisha an Ultra Mega Power Plant (UMPP), for which the Ministry has asked the State Government to place its nod in this regard. Ministry of Power has convened a meeting at New Delhi on 21 July to finalize the proposal.
Special Secretary Energy, Hemant Sharma will attend the meeting on behalf the State Government, said sources in Department of Energy.
In the Union Budget, Minister Finance Arun Jaitley announced to set up five UMPP in the country with an investment of Rs.One Lakh Crore.
While one UMPP is offered to Odisha another has been suggested to Bihar, sources said. UMPP will be having power generation capacity of 4000 MW.
With Pradeep Kumar Pujari, being the Union Secretary of Power, Odisha is getting the chance of having an UMPP, sources said.
Dr.Pujari belongs to Odisha and is an IAS Officer of Gujarat Cadre and Gujarat will also have one UMPP. Jharkhand is also to be favored with another UMPP.
These UMPPs will be different than earlier ones. These are Showcase UMPP on Plug and Play Mode. Power Finance Corporation (PFC) is the Nodal Agency for handling the UMPPs.
Each UMPP will have all clearances and allocations before they are put into auction, officials say. PFC has located two sites for the proposed UMPP.
One is in Chandbali Tahsil of Bhadrakh district and the other is near Narla in Kalahandi district.
After receiving the offer, the State Government will prefer to set up the proposed UMPP in a place in between Narla and Kesinga in Kalahandi district.
This is because water and train connectivity is required for the UMPP.
While Mahanadi and Baitarani has little surplus water for such a massive project, Tel River has surplus water to feed the UMPP.
Earlier Sahara India Power Corporation was eyeing for water from River Tel for its proposed 1320 MW power plant. But after Sahara Groups’ debacle and opposition from the local people, project is in limbo.
So water will not pose any problem for UMPP, said sources.
However the State Government has made it clear that it will agree if a Coal Block is allocated for the UMPP.
Because without a Coal Block, running an UMPP will just not possible, said a senior official in the Department of Energy (DoE).
PFC has already floated Shell Companies to handle the UMPP, so that the project can be put on fast track after the auction, sources said.