The state government has pitched for allocation of Chhendipada and Chhendipada-II coal blocks in favour of its PSU Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (OTPCL) to cater to its 2400 Mw coal-based thermal power plant coming up at Kamakhyanagar near Dhenkanal.The demand was raised by the state energy minister Pranab Prakash Das at the meeting of state power ministers being held in Guwahati on April 9-10.
"Though OTPCL has been awarded the Tentuloi coal block, it is not commercially viable. Being an underground coal reserve, it is very difficult to mine. Most of the reserve is bloew 900 metre depth. Even with the use of best technologies, only two million tonne of coal can be extracted from this mine while OTPCL's requirement for the power project is 16 million tonne per annum (mtpa). Therefore, the Ministry of Coal is requested to allocate Chhendipada and Chhendipada 2 coal blocks in favour of OTPCL which is a state PSU and develop the coal blocks and produce the coal on time", Das said in his address at the meeting. OTPCL, a joint venture between Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) is setting up the power plant at an estimated cost of Rs 17,000 crore. The project needs 1767.90 acres of land, including 1074.95 acres of private land, 684.25 acres government land and 8.7 acres forest land. The power purchase agreement (PPA) for sale of entire power to be generated by the OTPC
L power station has been executed with Gridco, the state owned power trading firm.
At the meeting, the minister also pitched for rationalisation of coal blocks to power plants.
"It has been observed that coal blocks have been allotted to various thermal power plants across the nation without taking into factors like distance and availability that add on to the high cost towards power generation leading to higher power tariff chargeable to the consumers. It is very much desirable that power plants may be allotted/mandated to utilise coal from nearby coal blocks which will contribute to optimisation of cost by way of saving on this account", he said.
Das also demanded allocation of more coal blocks for state PSUs. Out of eight coal blocks enlisted in Odisha for award to PSUs, only two- Manoharpur and dip side Manoharpur coal blocks have been awarded to a state PSU, Odisha Coal & Power Ltd (OCPL).