ORISSA GETS THE SIXTH ULTRA MEGA POWER PROJECT: SITE SHORT LISTED

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The High Level Team from Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Aauthority (CEA) and Power Finance Commission (PFC) that visited Orissa from 21st March to 24th March, 2006, has short listed three sites – Hirma, Derabahal and Bhashma for an Ultra Mega Power Project of 4000 MW capacity to be set up in Orissa with a cost of Rs.15,000 cr.

The choice of Orissa, according to officials, is a natural one, as “it has a suitable coast as well as extensive coal deposits”.

It is understood that the Union Coal Secretary has indicated that Orissa would be a State where captive coal blocks would be given for development of Ultra Mega Power Project.

Based on the report of the High Level Committee and the views of Union Coal Secretary, PFC has decided that Orissa will be home to the Sixth Ultra Mega Power Project which will be a coal pithead project based on indigenous coal and is likely be handed over to the developer to start its construction works by May, 2007.

At the time of writing this report, information reaches that the central government has also accepted Andhra as the seventh destination.

The Ultra Mega Power Projects planned by Ministry of Power have to be developed through competitive bidding and should have the following innovative and state-of-the-art features–
(a) Use of Super Critical and Ultra Super Critical Technology.
(b) Use of Clean Coal Technology (CCT)
© Economy of Scale.
(d) 100% Ash Ultilisation and
(e) Emission Trading.

For these features, the cost of electricity to be generated from the Ultra Mega Power Project will be in the range of Rs.1.60 to Rs.1.80 Paise per Unit, it is calculated.

When thus Orissa shall be having a hundred percent environmentally congenial Thermal Power Plant, under the central policy, she is expected to receive 35% of the 4000 MW as her share amounting to about 1400 MW of Ultra Mega Power towards 2011-12. Orissa Government has failed to claim its share of energy at Ib as a result of which, as reported earlier, we have lost thousands of crores of Rupees. One may hope that we should handle this issue with such involvement that we will never miss our share this time, which will fulfill at least 15% of the additional generation capacity of 9000 MW required by the our State if “VISION-2010” is not to be lost.

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