The Power Ministry is evaluating a site in Bihar for setting up a 4,000 MW ultra mega power project and has approached the Coal Ministry for allocation of a nearest coal block for the thermal plant.
"We are considering a site in Bihar to set up a 4,000 MW UMPP. Land has been identified, water is available and we have even written to the Ministry of Coal on allocating a nearest coal block," a Power Ministry official told PTI without divulging the name of the location.
However, according to sources, the proposed plant is likely to be fed coal from a mine either in Jharkhand or Odisha.
Once finalised this would be the first load centre project, as coal will be made available from a nearby coal block through road or railways.
The earlier operational or allotted UMPPs have either been pit-head projects (right where the coal mine is) or coastal plants based on imported coal.
Power Finance Corporation is the nodal agency for UMPPs in the country. UMPP is coal-based thermal power project that has 4,000 MW generation capacity.
Meanwhile, the final price bids for two UMPPs - Odisha and Tamil Nadu - may now open next month.
All the 9 applicants for Odisha UMPP and 8 applicants for Cheyyur UMPP (Tamil Nadu) who have applied for Request for Qualification (RFQ) have been shortlisted for issuance of Request For Proposal (RFP) or the final price bids.
NTPC, Tata Power, NHPC, Adani Power, JSW Energy, Jindal Power (an arm of Jindal Steel and Power), Sterlite Infraventures, CLP India and Larsen & Toubro had submitted applications for the Odisha project, which is expected to cost around Rs 25,000 crore.
NTPC, Adani Power, CLP India, GMR Energy, Jindal Power, JSW Energy, L&T and Sterlite Infraventures had submitted bids for the Cheyyur UMPP in Tamil Nadu, likely to come up at an investment of about Rs 24,200 crore.
So far, 4 UMPPs have been awarded, of which Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand) have been bagged by Reliance Power. Tata Power is operating the Mundra UMPP in Gujarat.