Concerned over possible environment damage to be caused by working and upcoming private thermal power plants, the state energy secretary has written to the Forest and Environment Department to take initiatives to start operation of an Environment Management Fund (EMF).
“Forest and Environment Department is the nodal department for creating the EMF for receiving the contribution and to work out the maintenance and expenditure of the fund. In view of the above, you are requested to kindly take necessary actions to create and manage the fund,” said B G Mathi Vathan, the state energy secretary in a letter to the Environment Department. The state has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 29 companies to produce about 37,000 MW electricity by the end of 2022.
According to these agreements, the IPPs will have to contribute 6 paise per unit every year to the fund out of every unit sold outside the state. The Energy Department requested to start the fund as two private producers, such as Sterlite Energy Ltd and Aarati Steel Ltd, have already begun power generation.
Sterlite Energy, having generation capacity of 600 MW, started production in two phases in November 2010 and March 2011 respectively from its facility at Lanjigarh, in Kalahandi district.
Aarati Steel Ltd, which had initially agreed to start a captive coal-based power plant of 50 MW capacity, later desired to become an Independent Power Producer (IPP) and has been supplying power to the state grid since March 2010.
Similarly, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), which has a captive power plant (CPP) in its Angul unit, is providing electricity to the state grid. Orissa currently draws about 600 MW power from CPPs and IPPs, out of its total 2,400 MW power supply.
By end of this year, five more producers including Jindal India Thermal Power Ltd, GMR Kamalanga Energy Ltd Monnet Power Company Ltd and Maa Durga Thermal Power are scheduled to commission their projects, adding 3,100 MW to the state kitty.