The task force on power in Odisha has cleared the decks for establishment of a 423 Mw gas-based power project, the first of its kind in the state, at an investment of Rs 3,106 crore.
The proposal has come from JGreen Power Pvt Ltd which has a registered office at Balasore. The company has evinced interest in setting up a LNG based power station at Dhamra banking on gas supplies from the five million tonne LNG terminal proposed at the same location by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL). The project will make use of Japanese technology and needs barely 37 acres of land.
“The LNG based power project has been cleared by the task force. Now, the proposal will go to the Single Window Clearance Authority and later to the High Level Clearance Authority. The state is in the process of finalising a comprehensive policy on thermal power plants that will also contain some provisions for gas-based projects. Power generation from this gas based plant will be expensive compared to thermal power plants and we hope to use this power during the peak hours,” said an official source.
A team of officials of JGreen has already visited many sites around the Dhamra port to choose a suitable location for the project. Apart from holding discussions with Santosh K Mohapatra, chief executive officer of Dhamra port, the company officials held a meeting with the representatives of the North Odisha Chamber of Commerce and Industries (NOCCI)-Balasore. JGreen has also submitted a common application form to the state’s investment promotion agency, Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Ipicol) on its investment plan.
In parallel, the task force on power approved the change in site of Tata Power’s 2,000 Mw coal based generating station to Begunia in Khurda district from the original location at Naraj in Cuttack district.
Since the original site at Naraj was in the vicinity of the Chandaka-Dampara wildlife sanctuary, Tata Power was forced to shift location on environmental concerns. The state forest department as well as green activists had voiced opposition to locating the plant near the sanctuary citing its impact on wildlife.
The new site measures about 975 acres and is split into two plots. It consists of government and Jaganath Temple land having cashew plantations and some private non-irrigated land in Begunia tehsil.
“The advantage of the proposed site is that there is no forest land and no wildlife sanctuary and elephant corridor within 10 km range,” Tata Power had said in a recent letter to the state government.
Though the developer had signed a MoU with the state government in September 2006, the project remained a non-starter due to environment concerns. The plant site at Naraj was only 1.5 km from Chandaka-Dampada wildlife sanctuary and wildlife clearance is mandatory for any project to be located within 10-km radius of a national park or sanctuary.
The task force also deliberated on extension of lapsed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Independent Power Producers (IPPs). The IPPs whose MoUs are awaiting extension include Tata Power, GMR Kamalanga Energy Ltd, Navabharat Power Ltd, Visa Power, Sterlite Energy Ltd, Lanco Power and KVK Neelachal Power to name a few.