US giant General Electric has offered to set up a 2,400 megawatt gas-based power plant in Punjab, offering electricity at Rs 4.81 per unit only. The offer was made by GE to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh during a meeting here this evening, according to an official release. The chief minister asked the companys CEO Deepesh Nanda to submit a comprehensive proposal within a fortnight and set up a five-member committee to examine the same. The committee would comprise CEO Invest Punjab, Director Technical Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, Director Finance PSPCL, a nominee of Principal Secretary Finance, along with Additional CEO Invest Punjab Rajat Aggarwal as its convener. "The committee has been mandated to recommend to the government the model--IPP or EPC--for setting up of the plant.
It will also look into the issue of the selection of the site for the plant, for which the chief minister has suggested a location near Ropar, in place of the existing 35-year old thermal plant which had outlived its utility," the release said. The company has offered to set up the plant anywhere in the state to ensure uninterrupted and cheap power to the industry, but preferably in a region with an existing pipeline network. The company also expressed the desire to associate with state government for setting up gas power plants at the load centers at Ludhiana and Amritsar, either on Independent Power Producer (IPP) or Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) model. The chief minister felt the proposed gas plant would give a fillip to the state government's plan to develop Kandi region as an industrial zone, along with the foothills of Shivalik. The high-powered GE delegation, led by Nanda, earlier made a detailed presentation to the chief minister on its proposal. Pointing out that gas power plants had emerged as an effective, green alternative to the conventional coal-based ones, Nanda said the former were also more economically viable as they required up to 35 acres less land. Further, gas based power plants required just 20 months for completion as compared to at least 48 months in case of thermal plants, which also makes these projects cost effective, he added.
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