Sunday, December 23, 2007
HC awaits govt reply on Jaigad power plant
Press Trust Of India / Mumbai December 24, 2007
The Bombay High Court has reminded the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the Centre to file replies on the PIL opposing the OP Jindal group’s coal-based power plant in Jaigad in Ratnagiri district.
The 1,200-Mw power project is facing opposition despite getting clearances from both the MPCB and the environment and forest ministry. Fly-ash generated by the plant will ruin the horticulture in the area, it is feared.
The high court is currently hearing a PIL filed by the Ratnagiri Jilla Jagruk Manch (RJJM). “On the last three occasions, MPCB and the environment and forest ministry were given time to file their replies. They haven’t so far,” said advocate VA Gangal, petitioners’ lawyer.
Recently, when the matter came up before the division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice JP Deodhar, nobody from the MPCB’s side was present. Annoyed, the court had to postpone the hearing till January 16.
When the PIL was filed last year, the high court had appointed an expert committee to look into the issue. The committee asked the JSW Energy Ltd, the Jindal Group company that is setting up the plant near the port-town of Jaigad, to make a revised environmental impact management report.
The petitioners, however, say that this revised report must be cleared by MPCB and the ministry, but there is no reply from their side yet.
The area around Jaigad has large-scale cultivation of Alphanso mangoes, cashewnuts, coconuts, etc. The PIL claims that the thermal power plant will play havoc with the Rs 3,000-crore economy of the region.
Vivek Bhide, RJJM’s president, alleged that apart from the horticulture, marine life off Jaigad coast too will suffer because of the project. JSW is building a jetty near the old port. Bhide alleges that there are corals in the surrounding sea, which the jetty building operation can destroy.
However, JSW’s lawyer said in the high court that the company did not violate any law, and it had all the required permissions right from the beginning.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
News Update ServiceSaturday, December 15, 2007 : 2200 Hrs
NTPC inks pact with CSEB for power supply
New Delhi (PTI): Country's largest power producer NTPC Ltd on Saturday said it has entered into an agreement with Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board for supplying power from its upcoming Mauda Super Thermal Power Project.
The agreement was signed here in the presence of NTPC Director (Commercial) R S Sharma and CSEB Chairman Rajib Ranjan, a company statement said.
The 1,000-MW Mauda Super Thermal Power Project is being set up in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Power generated from the station would be supplied to states in the western region.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
New thermal power plant for Maharashtra
The 540 MW project is expected to generate 3,500 million units per annum
NEW DELHI: KSK Energy Ventures Private Limited on Saturday announced the launch of a 540 MW thermal power project at Warora, in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, through a Special Purpose Vehicle — Wardha Power Company Private Limited. The project involves a total investment of Rs. 2,400 crore. On completion, it will generate about 3,500 million units per annum.
The company entered into a deal with the Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation, which has been allocated a coal block in Chhattisgarh. The GMDC retains the right to invest up to 26 per cent of the power project's equity. Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation has provided 94 hectares for the project.
© Copyright 2000 - 2007 The Hindu
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Thursday May 17, 10:38 AM
Nagpur, May 17 (IANS) The Vidarbha region of Maharashtra is all set to transform the power-starved state into a power-surplus one again in the next five years, thanks to a host of upcoming and proposed projects.
Already accounting for over 60 percent of the power generated in the state, the coal-rich central Indian region of Vidarbha will soon boast of a string of new plants with an installed capacity to generate 13,500 megawatt of electricity, officials said.
The highlight of this ambitious power generation programme is a staggering 8,455 MW unit committed by nine private sector companies, including those of the Adani Group, Ispat's Central India Power Co. and the Hyderabad based KSK Energy Ventures.
Of the remaining part, as much as 3,400 MW will come from four state government-owned thermal power stations in Vidarbha (in Paras, Khaparkheda, Koradi and Chandrapur) and 1,000 each from the proposed units of state-run National Thermal Power Corp's proposed plant in Mouda near Nagpur and the special economic zone in Chandrapur.
The Gujarat-based Adani Group of Industries has recently bought 200 hectares of land in the Tiroda industrial area in eastern Vidarbha's Gondia district for their proposed 2,000 MW thermal power project estimated to cost Rs.80 billion ($1.9 billion).
'The plant erection work is scheduled to start coming September and the first unit should be in place in less than four years', the group general manager H.M. Choudhury told reporters during a recent visit here. The group will soon buy 300 hectares more for the massive project, he added.
The biggest coal importer in the country that supplies coal to several thermal power plants including those at Koradi and Khaparkheda in Vidarbha, the Adani Group foresees no problem as regards the availability of coal for their Tiroda project.
'We are going to get coal for 1,000 MW power unit from Korba in Chhattisgarh with the help of Gujarat Mineral Corp and will also try to get the mineral from the Western Coalfields Ltd. (WCL) mines in Chandrapur district', Choudhury said.
While the equally big (2,000 MW) thermal power project of the Ispat Group's (erstwhile Nippon Denro) Central India Power Co. is coming up in Bhadravati in Chandrapur district, the KSK Energy Ventures has set up its financial arm Wardha Power Co. to construct its 540 MW plant at Warora in Chandrapur district.
The KSK Ventures, which has committed half of the power it will produce to its equity partner Viraj Profiles and the rest to small-scale industrial units in the region, has decided to buy its power plant equipment from China instead of Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd (BHEL), which is booked for the coming two years.
The other companies that have taken concrete steps to set up their power plants in Vidarbha are Jawaharlal Darda Yavatmal Energy (1,215 MW), Nagpur Power and Infrastructure Ltd (1,000 MW), Vibrant Energy and EMCO (500 MW each), Reliance Energy (200 MW) and Abhijit Infrastructure Ltd. (100 MW)
While all the proposed projects including those in the state sector lie in the realm of future, and would, therefore, have been taken with a big pinch of salt by an incredulous people, a chastened state government's fervent efforts to ease the power crisis have lent credence to their announcement.
A modicum of success that the state's power establishment has recently achieved in providing some relief to the harried power consumers in the shape of reduced load shedding - there is little or no power cut as of now in cities like Nagpur, Aurangabad and Amravati besides Pune - has whetted the popular optimism.
Even while managing to draw power in bits and snatches from all possible external sources including Gujarat, Haryana and the central pool and stepping up generation in its own Dabhol and Parli power plants, the state government has ensured generation of 2,100 MW in Dabhol by the year end, two-third of which will be available by June end itself.
Determined to do all it would take to wipe off the state's power shortage in the shortest possible time, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh last week obtained New Delhi's nod for additional supplies of coal and gas, besides environmental clearances for the state's upcoming and existing power projects ensuring extra 2,600 MW electricity by next April.
'The state will have up to 6,500 MW more in the next two years,' proclaimed a beaming Deshmukh at the foundation laying function of the KSK Energy Ventures at Warora in Chandrapur district last Friday.
Reaching the site of the proposed 540 MW project (about 100 km from Nagpur) straight from Delhi along with Union Energy Minister Sushilkumar Shinde after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Deshmukh unfolded a virtual calendar of power generation in the state beginning next month.
For the chief minister of the state that suffered a humiliating downslide from its 'unassailable' No.1 position in the country owing to its failure to produce a single megawatt as extra power in the last eight years, that was a moment of glory.
Shinde added to the cheer by announcing that the state would get an additional 800 MW from the upcoming Mundra mega power project in Gujarat and that the Centre has cleared its proposed 1,000-MW NTPC plant in Mouda.
When all this happens, hopefully in five years from now, Vidarbha, the designated powerhouse of Maharashtra, will become a major region for electricity generation.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
(Down to earth)
in an unusual incident, Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd’s public hearing in Raigarh was called off because “the company was unable to adequately answer issues raised by the public”. The company’s plans to expand its iron and steel plant in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, has further run into trouble with allegations of irregularities in environmental impact assessment (eia) report. New Delhi-based Monnet runs a 0.3 million tonnes (mt) per annum integrated iron and steel plant in Raigarh.
It wants to increase the plant’s capacity to 1.7 mt per annum. ........
Read the Full story at
Friday, September 7, 2007
According to Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), they are purchasing power from other States through power traders at higher rate.
NTPC proposes to set up the Mauda Thermal Power Project (2x500 MW) in Mauda Tehshil of Nagpur District, Maharashtra. Action has been initiated for obtaining necessary clearances including from the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and acquisition of land. Public hearing for NOC from SPCB (Maharashtra) has been held on 18th June, 2007. Action has also been initiated for obtaining Environmental clearance from Ministry of Environment & Forests. The project is expected to be commissioned during the 11th Plan period.
Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd. (MSGPCL) proposes to add 3,675 MW by way of new capacity addition and replacement of existing units which have completed more than 30 years of operation. MSGPCL is in the process of tying up of basic inputs and obtaining statutory clearances required for these projects.
According to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd., power traders have sourced power for Maharashtra mainly from West Bengal, Orissa, Sikkim, Kerala, at higher rate.
This information was given by the Union Power Minister Shri Sushilkumar Shinde in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Deepak Joshi, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 05, 2007
The government is taking a fresh look at the issue of standalone special economic zones (SEZs) for power generation projects. The move follows concerns regarding the utilisation of SEZ-generated power in the non-processing areas and domestic tariff area (DTA). A power ministry official admitted that though the Electricity Act provides for power generation for captive purposes on individual or collective basis, the concept of standalone power SEZs needs examination.
A key issue calling for policy intervention is the creation of a level-playing field for National Thermal Power Corporation and other power plants servicing the domestic tariff areas. “A formula needs to be worked out for payment of duty on such supplies outside the SEZ processing area,” the official said.
The issue gains significance, as it is the responsibility of the developer to provide power as an infrastructure facility. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation decided that instead of setting up individual power generation facility in each SEZ, they would set up two power sector SEZs to supply power to all such zones. Other two sector-specific SEZs in Gujarat were allowed, as the location proposed was not contiguous to the main SEZ.
SEZ developers get exemption on building material, capital goods and operation and maintenance of goods and services. In such a scenario, it is pointed out that the size of the power plant should be linked to the SEZ requirements.
To overcome these issues, the power ministry has proposed three possible alternatives. The units in the SEZ could create a captive power plant on contributory basis and use the power generated. This would not require any distribution licence or fixation of tariff. Alternatively, a cooperative society of users could develop the power plant. Or the SEZ developer could take the distribution licence and get the tariff fixed from the regulator.
© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times
Monday, September 3, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007; Ministry of Coal
SUPPLY OF COAL TO THERMAL POWER PLANTS IN MAHARASHTRA
Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) have requested supply of coal on tapering basis for their future expansion projects till their coal blocks come into production. These expansion projects include Bhusawal-3, Parli-3, Paras-3, Koradi-1 (Replacement), Chandrapur-1 and Koradi-2. The request of Mahagenco was considered by the Standing Linkage Committee (Long-term) on Power in its meeting held on 2.8.2007 which approved grant of Letter of Assurance (LOA) to Mahagenco on “tapering basis” to the tune of maximum quantity of 2 million tonnes per annum, keeping in view actual requirement/shortfall from captive mines of Mahagenco. However, the commercial arrangements in this regard would be worked out between the consumer and CIL/specifically linked company for supply of coal on short term tapering basis. In addition, Mahagenco has also been granted LOA to the tune of about 10 million tones during 2006 for their power projects.
The request from the Government of Maharashtra was for supply of coal from Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) area. The Committee has approved LOA to Mahagenco on “tapering basis” on “cost plus basis” from Coal India Limited/specifically linked company, to the tune of maximum quantity of 2 million tones per annum keeping in view actual requirement/shortfall from the captive mines of Mahagenco.
The above information was given by Dr. Dasari Narayana Rao, Minister of State for Coal in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 2:13:00 AM
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Six bidders in fray for Dhopave project
Final list expected by this month-end
MUMBAI: Six of the eleven bidders, including Reliance Energy and Tata Power, who had evinced interest in the imported coal-based Dhopave coastal power plant, are now left in the fray.
Though a formal approval in this regard is yet to come from Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd (MahaGenco), sources said apart from Reliance Energy and Tata, the other companies in the shortlist were GMR Energy, Torrent Power, Lanco Infratech and Jindal Power. A final list, however, is expected by the end of August.
MahaGenco has planned two mega power projects in the state under its Phase II of capacity augmentation plan, through which it is aiming to achieve an additional generation capacity of close to 6,000 MW by 2012. The two mega projects are the 1,040 MW of gas-based Uran expansion project and the 1,600 MW Dhopave Coastal Power project. The Uran project will be kicked off only once the gas issue is resolved.
For the Dhopave project, the state generation utility had invited bids from national and international power players in May, 2007. It had also formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Dhopave Coastal Power Company Ltd, for the implementation of the project.
The 1,600 MW imported Dhopave imported coal-based thermal power station would be located in Ratnagiri district in Konkan region. The project is strategically located, with a proximity to the petrochemical and the fertilizer industry. Since it is located near the coast, importing coal will also be easier and cheaper.
Due to these conducive factors, several power players have spotted its potential. It is barely 2 kms away from the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Ltd’s Dhabol Power Plant. The project will be having two units of 800 MW each and will be fuelled by highly efficient imported coal. “It will be upon the discretion of the selected company to decide whether to use super critical or sub critical technology,” the source said. Depending on the technology used, the cost for setting up of the project would be between Rs 6,500 cr to Rs 8,000 cr.
It would be commissioned before the end of 2012. It will be spread over an area of 500 hectares (ha) out of which the power station will occupy close to 230 ha. The final player would be chosen on the basis of tariff-based competitive bidding. It might take another 10 months to announce the winner. The selected company would be developing the project on build, own and operate basis from whom MahaGenco would be purchasing power for the procurer. The procurer in this case is the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MahaVitaran).
The eleven companies who had bid for the project were Tata Power Company, Reliance Energy, Torrent Power, Jindal Power, Essar Power, Lanco Infratech, AES, China Light and Power, Adani Group, GMR and GSPC.
© 2005-2007 Diligent Media Corporation Ltd. All rights reserved.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007 9:23:00 AM
Ambani’s power plant stayed till next hearing
ALIBAUG-NAVI MUMBAI: Bombay High Court on Thursday stayed Reliance Energy’s 4000MW power plant, that was proposed to be built in Shahpur near Alibaug in Raigad district.
The court has asked the Anil Ambani-led company not to commence the project till the next hearing with the state ministry of environment and forest and subsequent orders from the court.
The project envisages constructing 2800 MW gas-based power plant and 1200 MW coal-based thermal power generation unit. Interestingly, Reliance Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government only for the gas-based plant while the MoU for coal plant was yet to be signed. The petition was filed by Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti.
According to sources, the plant’s construction was scheduled to begin soon. The court has asked the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to submit the report of a public hearing conducted on August 4, 2007, to the ministry and has in turn directed the ministry to take appropriate decision in accordance with law by giving a proper hearing to Reliance.
Advocate JJ Bhat appeared for Reliance Energy and told the court that the ministry of environment had so far not accorded approval to the project.
Adv Suresh Pakale appeared on behalf of the Samiti. RV Govilkar appeared for the pollution board and Pradip Patil for the state government.
20 Aug, 2007, 0622 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: Indian power utilities are finding it increasingly difficult to acquire coal assets abroad as their prices are hotting up with each passing day. This is true for particularly coal assets in Indonesia, Australia and Mozambique where Indian companies are scouting for acquiring mines because of freight advantages.
India aims to set up five UMPP (ultra mega power projects) of 4,000 MW capacity each with imported coal. These projects would require more than 75 million tonnes of coal a year. Besides, several other private players require an equal amount for other projects in the pipeline.
Due to sudden spurt in demand from India for imported coal, several countries are raising prices. “Coal miners in Indonesia, Australia, Mozambique and Africa know that India needs coal to fuel its upcoming power and steel projects.
They also know that many within the country are fighting among themselves to acquire these assets,” Raaj Kumar, MD, JSW Energy said. “This has created a price inflation and there is no signs of stabilising that.” he further added. Other sources said the difficulty was that there are very few assets on sale in these countries, but there are many takers which was fuelling their prices.
The situation is so grave that Kumar’s own company, which has received financial closure for Rs 4,500 crore, 1,200 MW thermal power project at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra is yet to secure long-term coal supply from abroad.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
According to sources, the government had yielded to pressure from Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh governments and is not going ahead with the 1000MW project.
The Karnataka Government has dropped coal-based Ghataprabha thermal power plant in Belgaum district as it has called for “global invitation for request for qualification” for only Chamalapura in Mysore district and Jewargi in Gulbarga district.
According to sources, the government had yielded to pressure from Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh governments and is not going ahead with the 1000MW project. The two neighbouring states are said to have objected to the project saying that it would pollute the Krishna river.
The invitation for two 1000 MW plants in Jewargi and Chamalapura were invited on August 8.
However, the government seems to have ignored the protests for the Chamalapur project. No public hearing has been held for the project.
In its July 18 order, the Ministry of Water Resources has given approval in principle for the annual use of 1.56 tmc water for each plant.
As per the invitation, the last date to obtain application is September 7 and to submit September 14. It has also been decided to hold a meeting on September 21 and before October 6, the responses will be given and on October 27, list of bidders will be announced.
Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board has been entrusted with the responsibility of acquiring land already identified for the plants in Chamalapura and Jewargi.
Independent bodies will be formed to get permission from the Department of Environment and to study the feasibility of the projects, according to the invitation.
It also says that the firms will have to give government 85 per cent of power generated in these plants and the projects should be completed in 48 months.
The farmers in and around Chamalapur have protested the proposed plant.
If the government continues with the project, the farmers have threatened to commit mass suicide.
They have also planned to seek Tamil Nadu’s support as the Kabini and Cauvery rivers will be polluted if the plant is set up in Chamalapura.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Source : Moneycontrol.com
Sunil Hi-Tech Engineers Limited has bagged Rs 111.7 crore order from M/s JSW Ltd., for 4x300MW thermal power Plant located at Jaigarh, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. The order involves structural fabrication and erection works including supply of steel within a period of 22 months.
This order reiterates the companies' deliberation in balancing its public - private mix of clientele. The clientele of the company includes heavy weights like NTPC, BHEL, Sterlite, Jindal Steel& Power, Reliance Energy, State Electricity Board of Tamil Nadu among others.
"The company is confident of its steady growth and our progress till date only strengthens our resolve to be the most innovative and efficient contributor to the Indian power industry." said Mr. Sunil Gutte, Executive Director of Sunil Hi-Tech Engineers Ltd.
The company witnessed a 135% jump in its Net Profit for Q1 FY08 YoY. The Net Sales of the company have seen a 51.21% rise to Rs 45.36 crore as against Rs 30.00 crore in the same period last year. The Operating Profit of the company has also shot up 132% to Rs 7.94 crore from Rs 3.41 crore for the same period last year. The Net Profit of the company stands at Rs 3.43 crore which is a 135% increase as compared to Rs 1.46 crore witnessed in quarter one, for the previous fiscal.
Sourced From: Concept Public Relations India Pvt. Ltd
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Date:04/08/2007 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2007/08/04/stories/2007080455711200.htm
Shiv Sena attacks Jindal office in Jaigad
MUMBAI: Opposition to the 1200 MW coal-based thermal power plant and port in Jaigad in Ratnagiri district is being stepped up, with about 40 Shiv Sainiks attacking the office of JSW Energy Ltd, an O.P. Jindal Group company on Thursday. Twelve persons were arrested for the offence. The Shiv Sena is the only political party supporting the farmers and fisherfolk in the region.
The thermal power plant on the coast as well as the proposed port has been drawing protests from mango farmers in the region and the fisherfolk. The Ratnagiri Zilla Jagruk Manch had filed a writ petition last year in the Bombay High Court challenging the manner in which public hearings were held for the plant. The court issued orders on April 26 asking the National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI) in Nagpur to conduct a study in coordination with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).
Dr. Vivek Bhide, president of the Manch, told The Hindu from Ratnagiri that NEERI had submitted a report to the court in July which clearly said that the company’s coal handling system was not proper in view of the high wind s peeds in the area.
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Mumbai, May 21: Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh today assured that the development works of Revas, Dighi and Jaigad ports in Konkan region would be expedited.
He was speaking after a presentation of the development works of these three ports at Mantralaya here.
Revas port development is being handled by Revas Port Ltd. The port is situated in the middle of the deep sea and hence state of the art facilities would be made available at this multi purpose port. Apart from handling cargo, there would be facility for handling liquid gas,coal and car. In the first phase, the port will have handling capacity of 48 million tonne and by 2040, there will be capacity of handling 130 million tonne of cargo.
The project costs Rs 5114 crore out of which Rs 1534 crore will be financed by private parties and rest raised through loan.
Dighi port is being developed by DPL group. The first project is worth Rs 600 crore. The construction is expected to begin this month itself. Cargo handling will begin from this port by March 2009.
Permissions have been received to construct four lane road to the highway from the port and also linkage to the railway route.
JSW Infrastructure and Logistics Ltd is handling the development of Jaigad fort. The tenders will be issued in August 2007 and construction work will begin from September. The first phase construction will be completed by March 2009. Bharti Shipyard ltd is constructing a modern shipyard at Usgaon near the Dabhol port in Ratnagiri district. A presentation about the shipyard was also made to the Chief Minister.
Friday, May 4, 2007
The Darda Group and the Abhijeet Group of
Earlier, the State Government had issued a Letter of Support to JLD Yavatmal Energy Limited for this project. The Letter of Support substitutes the MoU, which the Government used to sign earlier. IDFC has signed a MoU with the Company to pick up equity stake in the project. The coal-based thermal power project is expected to be operational by 2010.
A formal announcement was made by senior State Government officials at a press conference held in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Shri Dilip Walse Patil (Energy Minister), Shri Vijay Darda (M.P. & Chairman, Lokmat Group & JLD Yavatmal Energy Limited), Shri
Shri Vijay Darda, M.P. & Chairman, Lokmat Group, said, “Yavatmal, apart from offering natural advantages for the project, also happens to be my freedom fighter father, late Jawaharlal Darda’s hometown. He dedicated his life for the development of this State. We conceived this project in the background of acute power shortage in the State and the farmers’ suicide in this district. If he would have been alive, he would have definitely done something to curb it. This project will be dedicated to his memory. We are planning to provide free power to the marginal farmers in the district for five years.”
Mr. Abhishek Jayaswal, Director-Abhijeet Group, added, “By partnering with the Lokmat Group and IDFC in this prestigious project, we have reinforced our commitment to achieve our goal to be in the forefront of the energy, power and infrastructure sector. This power project has the makings of addressing the socio-economic objectives of the Maharashtra Government. We are committed to bring the state-of-the-art technology and adopt the best suited financing options to supply power at competitive rates to the power starved State of
Sourced From: Adfactors Public Relations Pvt Ltd
Mumbai, April 28, 2007
As the first batch of Konkan’s famed Alphonso mangoes takes off for export to the United States amidst dissolving trade barriers, farmers from the region have got the Bombay High Court to address their fears on the impact of a proposed power plant in coastal Ratnagiri on their orchards.
Chief Justice Swatantra Kumar and Judge S Dharmadhikari on Thursday have ordered the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), the region’s leading agricultural university Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth and National Environmental Engineering Reasearch Institute, to assess the ecological impact of the 1200 megawatt plant by JSW Energy Ltd, formerly Jindal Thermal Power Company). The judges have asked the bodies to report the results to the court in two months.
The plant, along with five other proposed power projects along the Konkan, is expected to plug the state’s shortfall of 5500 MW. In mid-April, HT had first reported on how Konkan struggles to reconcile the need to address the state’s power shortages with the growing aspirations of its mango farmers and a viable agriculture.
The plant, which will burn 4.1 million tones of coal each year, is located in the heart of the state’s famed mango land, spread over 1,025 acres in Ratnagiri's Nandivde and Jaigad villages, 390 km south of Mumbai. A committee under the central Ministry of Environment and Forests is currently considering its environmental clearance.
But in the meantime, farmers and fishing settlements in the surrounding villages worrying about the impact of the fly ash emission and the potential climate change, galvanised into the Ratnagiri Zilla Jagruk Manch (Ratnagiri district awarness forum) and moved court.
The forum’s lawyer Advocate V Gangal said, “The judges accepted our argument that no proper assessment of the plant’s polluting impact had been done. The Environmental Impact Assessment report and public hearing process was faulty and local gram panchayats had not been provided with copies contrary to law.” But MPCB Director D Boralkar rejected the contention that his body had not carried out the process properly.
HT had also reported how the university in collaboration with JSEW would carry out a survey spread over three years to assess the impact of the plant on the area’s agriculture and fisheries. But Boralkar said that two months was adequate to carry out the study of this kind. “You leave it to us experts to implement the court’s order. The basic data of the power plant is already there in the existing EIA report.”
© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times
|MPCB report sought in HC on Jindal`s power project in Ratnagiri|
Mumbai, April 29: The Bombay High Court has asked the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to file an environmental impact assessment report with regard to the Jindal Group's proposed coal-based thermal power plant in Ratnagiri district.
While preparing the report, to be filed in two months, MPCB is to rope in the national environment engineering research institute (Neeri), the division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice S C Dharmadhikari directed last week.
The court's order came on a PIL filed by members of Ratnagiri Zilla Jagaruk Manch who are opposing the project fearing environmental pollution, as the proposed plant, aimed at generating 1200 mw of power, would use coal as fuel.
It would give rise to a lot of flying ash which could destroy the horticulture in the area, the petitioners contended.
The plant, to be set up by JSW infrastructure and logistics, is coming up in 878 acres of land at Nandiwade village near Jaigad. The area has an extensive cultivation of mango, cashew and other fruits, which would be hit because of ash thrown into air by the project, the PIL said.
The petitioners argued that a similar project at Dahanu in Thane district spelled disaster for the Chikoo orchards, which experienced a sudden dip in productivity.
Their lawyer V A Gangal had earlier alleged in the court that the district administration and local politicians were hands-in-glove with the company, ignoring the local people's apprehensions.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sumana Guha Ray / Mumbai April 22, 2007
JSW Energy, the energy arm of the Sajjan Jindal Group, will invest close to Rs 15,000 crore in the next two to three years in thermal power projects in the western part of the country. The company is aiming at increasing its power generation capacity to 5,000 mw from the current 260 mw.
JSW Energy is looking at investing in hydel power plants in Himachal Pradesh and the north east, while extending its presence in the transmission and trading sector to “become India’s largest integrated player in the power sector by the end of the 11th plan (2012),” said the company’s joint managing director and chief executive officer Raaj Kumar.
The company has formed special purpose vehicles for the development of thermal power plants in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat. “We have also been actively participating in bids for the development of a transmission network in the country and we already have an in-house power trading wing, JSW Power Trading Corporation based in Delhi,” Kumar added.
The debt-to-equity ratio for these investments would be 75:25. The company has already tied up with several Indian banks for the purpose. The equity component would be funded mostly through internal accruals and carbon trading, Kumar said. The company has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Gujarat for developing a 2,000 mw imported coal-based plant at Simar in Junagarh district. The land survey for the project has been completed and a consultant has been appointed for a techno-economic feasibility study for this port-based power plant, said N K Jain, vice-chairman of JSW Energy. The estimated investment in this project would be Rs 4,800 crore.
JSW has also undertaken brownfield expansion of two units of 300 mw each in Vijaynagar, where it already has a 260 mw generation unit and operates and maintains another 290 mw facility, Kumar said. This plant is expected to be commissioned by December 2008 and would involve an investment of Rs 1,860 crore. The company has already tied up with IDBI for funding.
A third imported coal-based plant would be developed at Raigad in the district of Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. The plant capacity would be 1,200 mw and the investment close to Rs 4,500 crore. JSW has already acquired 1,000 acres for the project. It has already received the ‘no objection’ certificate from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and the Ministry of Environment and Forests is expected to provide the certification soon. The construction is expected to begin soon, and the first unit of 300 mw would be commissioned within 27 months from the time of the construction.
The coal requirements would be four million tonne for every 1000 mw thermal power generated. By 2010-11, the company would be importing approximately 15-16 MMT of coal. To ensure fuel security, JSW is looking at acquiring coal blocks in Indonesia, where it already has a stake in a coal block with a yield of 1.5 MMT, Kumar said.
In Rajasthan, JSW is in the process of setting up a lignite-based 1080 mw power plant at an investment of Rs 3,500 crore. The company has already signed power purchase agreements with distributors in Rajasthan for 1000 mw, at a 30-year levelised tariff of Rs 1.91 per unit, excluding escalations. The first year tariff would be Rs 2.28 a unit, while the fuel cost would be between 80 paise and Re 1 a unit, Jain explained.
This project will have eight units of 135 mw each, the first of which is expected to be commissioned by the fourth quarter of 2008.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Alphonso farmer Uday Jog’s produce is down 75 per cent this year after November showers and an unusually warm winter battered mango orchards along the Konkan coast, where orchards nestle between pristine beaches and rolling hills.
But that does not worry him.
Mango farms along the lush coast of India’s most industrialised state are on the thresh-hold of unprecedented opportunity, global and local, fuelled by deregulated markets in Japan and the US and by the agricultural boom powered by Indian retail companies like Reliance, Bharti and Pantaloons (Big Bazaar).
What does worry Jog is the effect a proposed 1,200 megawatt (MW) thermal power plant — burning 4.1 million tonnes of coal each year — just outside his village of Nandivde, 290 km south of Mumbai, will have on his 250 mango trees.
Jog’s fears came in a rush of thoughts. “Mango trees flowers just once a year, and the crop is very delicate,” he said. “The changes in temperature, the emission of fly-ash over a 20-km radius will make the dew acidic…will all this not damage my trees?”
The plan for the plant (by JSW Energy Ltd, formerly Jindal Thermal Power Company), spread over 1,025 acres, comes with an associated port to import the coal and is currently before a central committee seeking environmental clearance.
“The plant will be functional 27 months after work begins,” said Raaj Kumar, CEO JSW Energy Limited. In mango country along the Konkan coast, six planned coal-fired power plants (see graphic) could help end the growing state of darkness.
Maharashtra’s power shortfall is 5,500 MW and growing, even as the government makes frantic efforts to generate more energy to power everything from industries, malls, homes and booming small towns.
From this week, power cuts in Mumbai’s eastern suburbs and Navi Mumbai will increase by an hour or two from the daily four-and-half-hours. In other parts of the state, the power will now stay off for more than 15 hours.
But farmers like Jog produce 2 lakh metric tonnes of the lucrative mango each year and farmer groups said they would like a cumulative assessment of how these projects might impact the region’s environment, and agriculture.
Their fears come at a time when mango-growers are looking at an unprecedented opportunity for their fruit to travel the world. The US and Japan have lifted decades-old bans on the import of Indian mangoes. Until now, Konkan mangos were largely sold within the state and exported mostly to the Middle East.
Jog walked HT through his 6-acre farm and explained his new global life. The farm proudly displays a Euro certification that he secured last year. With it, Jog’s mangoes now meet more than 300 stringent production norms and can hit supermarkets shelves across Europe.
Agriculture experts said it’s too early to say if the new power plants could kill the Konkan mango farmer’s aspirations but opposition to the plants has already led the state government to decide not to locate a planned mega-power plant at Girye. It is now looking at alternative sites and the Central Electricity Auhtority has given it till the end of the month to find one. If it can’t, the state loses the plant.
The region’s largest agricultural university, the Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth is currently finalising an agreement with JSEW to conduct a Rs 2.5-crore three-year study to assess the environmental impact of the power plant on mango crops
“We will be simulating atmospheric conditions of higher sulphur and nitrogen dioxide akin to what condition will be when the power plant is functional, and looking at its impact on mango plants of various ages,” Vice-Chancellor Vijay Mehata told HT. “The College of Fisheries will study the impact on fishing incomes. We should be able to have definite conclusions at the end of the three-year study.”
The locals are not satisfied, and protesting farmers have formed the Ratnagiri Zilla Jagruk Manch (Ratnagiri district awareness forum) and moved the Bombay High Court on what they say is a faulty Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report and public hearing process. The court will hear them on April 19.
“The local ecology is far more delicate and complex than depicted in the EIA report,” said Forum head and mango farmer Vivek Bhide of Malgund village. “We would like an independent panel of 5-6 experts to conduct the study and the government to fund it. What use is a three-year-study if plants have already been cleared?”
Locals point out that the Konkan is one of the state’s rare areas where agriculture still delivers prosperity to farmers. They refer to Vidarbha, the Punjab-sized northern region, where cotton farmers regularly commit suicide as the cotton economy collapses. “Farming gives us work 365 days a year,” said Jog. “Does the government want to send us the Vidarbha way?”
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
MERC pulls up MSEDCL over seeking more power cuts
“At a public hearing held in Pune, MSEDCL had cited non-availability of generation capacity of the Maharashtra State Power Generation Co Ltd (MSPGCL) and the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) as one of the main reasons for reduction in supply. Since many of these outages are planned, they should have been factored into the plans,” he said. The power shortage in the state has gone up to 6,800 mw from 5,500 mw, stated MSEDCL.
Deo said that the reply from MSEDCL was not very satisfactory and therefore Merc had asked the company to furnish more details. “In February 2007, Merc directed MSEDCL to regulate consumption by high transmission industrial units up to 80%, failing which the units would have to suffer a second day of load-shedding. Now MSEDCL states that the units have not been following directives,” Deo pointed out.
MSEDCL’s proposal to increase load-shedding by two-and-half hours across Maharashtra came in for flak from both the industrial and agricultural sectors.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), opposed the second day, on the grounds that it would affect the SME sector. CII stated that the move would impact larger companies since SMEs were major contributors to this sector. It said that it would talk to its members to take the Pune model to Nashik, Kolhapur, Nagpur and Aurangabad.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Two years after it signed memoranda with several independent power producers (IPPs) to generate 12,500 MW, the state government has stepped in to resolve the issue of land allocation to them.
On Monday, Revenue Minister Narayan Rane and Energy Minister Dilip Walse-Patil assured a smoother land acquisition process after Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh passed directives last month.
In March 2005, the state signed a deal with Reliance Energy Limited (REL) for a 4,000 MW plant. The Tata Power Company (TPC) and Essar too signed MoUs for two 1,500 MW power plants. GMR, Ispat and Jindal each signed deals to put up three 1,000 MW power plants while Spectrum agreed to build a 500 MW capacity plant in the state.
REL and TPC completed all formalities last year and identified land in Shahpur near Alibaug in Raigad district. However, lack of coordination between the revenue and industry departments led to an overlap of 1,000 acres of land that was to be allocated to both the companies.
Last month, Deshmukh ordered that the companies receive land based on their project sizes. Sources close to Rane said he has asked his department to settle the REL-TPC issue in two weeks. The directives also ask REL to relocate its gas-fired facility from the existing site. Both the companies will be allowed to set up coal-based plants.
Jindal is another company that plans to set up a 1,000 MW coal-based plant in Niwadi in Ratnagiri. “The company has got all clearances but doesn’t have land to start work,” said a company official on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media. “The minister has promised to resolve the matter in four days,” he said.
Private participation in power generation is a necessity for the state, which faces a deficit of a staggering 5,500 MW. With each passing year, the deficit is expected to rise by 1,000 MW. Even if half of the IPPs (that have signed memoranda with the state) start generating power in the next four years, the state will benefit from the additional power.
Maharashtra asks Reliance Energy to scale down Shahpur plan
BS Reporter / Mumbai April 10, 2007
The Maharashtra government has asked Reliance Energy Ltd (REL) to scale down its project at Shahpur village in Raigadh district.
This, the government hopes, will help resolve the dispute between Tata Power Company (TPC) and REL over a 1,300-acre plot in the village where both want to set up plants.
While TPC proposed a 1,600-Mw project on the plot, REL planned to set up two projects – a coal-based plant for generating 1,200 Mw and a gas-based plant for 2,800 Mw. The state government has now asked REL to drop the gas-based project.
State government sources said the site was not suitable for gas-based power projects as there was no major gas pipeline in the area. REL executives refused comment.
However, REL had been assured that it would be given all help for setting up power plants anywhere else, sources added.
REL had approached the state revenue department for acquiring 3,460 acres under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Tata Power simultaneously approached the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to acquire 1,317 acres under the MIDC Act. Both were allotted the same plot.
Monday, April 9, 2007
India plans large nuclear power plant in collaboration with European countries
NEW DELHI (The Associated Press) - Apr 6
India plans to build a large atomic power plant in the western state of Maharashtra, encouraged by the civilian nuclear deal with the U.S. that will help the country access the international market for nuclear fuel and technologies, a news report said.
State-run Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. plans to build the 10,000 megawatt plant using European pressurized reactors, or EPRs, from France, Germany and Finland, the Financial Express newspaper reported.
EPRs are third generation nuclear reactors that feature better safety standards and significantly contain radioactivity in the event of an accident.
The plant, comprising six units, each having the capacity to generate 1,650 megawatts of electricity, will cost 500 billion rupees, or $11.4 billion, the report said quoting S.K. Jain, chairman of the Indian company.
The investment amount will be raised through a combination of equity and debt, including loans from multilateral development agencies, the report quoted Jain as saying.
India currently operates much smaller plants with a combined capacity of less than 4,000 megawatts, mainly because of lack of adequate nuclear fuel supplies.
Construction of the plant is expected to start next year, Jain said.
It wasn't immediately clear if companies from European countries would also have equity stakes in the project. The report didn't elaborate on financial aspects.
Officials at Nuclear Power Corp. could not be reached for comments as government offices were closed to mark the Good Friday holiday.
The 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group bars its members from exporting nuclear fuel to India because New Delhi has refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The agreement with the United States, which was cleared by its Congress last December, seeks to lift that ban.
Encouraged by the deal, India plans to increase nuclear power production nearly 10-fold to 30,000 megawatts in 20 years. That target could go up if India allows domestic private companies to enter nuclear power generation, which is currently limited to state-run utilities.
Copyright © 1996-2007 by CyberTech, Inc. All rights reserved.
Friday, April 6, 2007
|NTPC eyes LNG gas terminal of Dabhol|
New Delhi, April 06: National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) today said it was keen to acquire the five million tonne LNG terminal of the 2,150 MW Dabhol power plant at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and was ready to put in Rs 500 crore in the project that has yet to take off.
Our board has cleared the infusion of Rs 500 crore into RGPPL...We will do so as and when the government expects us to do that, Chandan Roy, Director (Operations) of NTPC said here.
NTPC was keen to acquire the 5 million tonne liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal linked with the 2,150 mw Dabhol power plant.
The corporation's move comes after another RGPPL promoter Gail (India) said last month it was also willing to infuse Rs 500 crore into RGPPL provided it was given the LNG terminal.
Both NTPC and Gail had put in Rs 500 crore into RGPPL to acquire 28.33 per cent each at the time of taking over Dabhol assets. Maharashtra state electricity board and IDBI-led lenders control the remaining equity stake in RGPPL.
The empowered Group of Ministers on Dabhol was exploring the options of infusing additional money into RGPPL, so as to complete the revival process of the power plant and LNG terminal.
Already, the revival cost has shot up to Rs 12,600 crore from Rs 10,300 crore estimated earlier.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
The company, having notched up an annual turnover of Rs 1,300 crore in 2004-05, expects sales to touch Rs 1,500 crore in the current fiscal.
Mumbai , Nov 16
Shortage of quality coal for thermal power plants has always been a problem for the country, forcing large parcels of coal imports from destinations such as Australia, Indonesia and South Africa.
And this was a window of opportunity that Dubai-based Coal and Oil Company LLC (C&O) seized a couple of years back and is now the leader in this segment.
It imported seven million tonnes of coal into India last year, which accounted for 30 per cent of the country's coal import.
C&O also bought its first coal mine in Indonesia earlier this year.
The CEO and President of C&O, Mr Ahmed Buhari, said the company expects to source coal from this mine in six months. "We are spending some Rs 200 crore on our logistics and in three years we will be a totally integrated energy supplying company," he said.
The company, having notched up an annual turnover of Rs 1,300 crore in 2004-05, expects sales to touch Rs 1,500 crore in the current fiscal. Significantly, 70 per cent of this comes from business in India.
The Government has estimated a shortfall in coal supply to be around 100 million tonnes by 2010. A Citibank survey has put the figure at 160 million tonnes.
"We are the only player to supply coal to seven large IPPs (Independent power producers) in the country," Mr Buhari said. The C&O client list includes Tata Power, Reliance Energy, and Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation.
The company, incorporated in 1998, in Dubai, has an Indian subsidiary company Coastal Energy Private Ltd that has offices in all the port cities. This was in sync with the Indian Government plan to encourage power plants in coastal regions to reduce freight component.
According to Mr Buhari, Indian power companies initially chose C&O because it supplied `effectively cheaper' coal; now it is preferred because (in addition to price factor) it supplies low-sulphur, low-ash coal.
The company was the first to import South African, Chinese and Russian coal. Low ash content coal supplied by C&O has just two per cent ash and mid-ash content coal has nearly 15 per cent ash.
In comparison, Indian coal has 45 per cent ash content. Calorific value of the coal supplied by C&O is around 6,500 gross calorific value - air-dried basis (gcb-adb), while for Indian coal it is never more than 4,500 gcb-adb.
The company says its entry has helped power companies reduce their fuel bills. Mr Buhari said that in the current fiscal Maharashtra State Electricity Board has been able to reduce its expenditure on coal by Rs 50 crore last year while the utility has already saved Rs 18 crore this fiscal.
The company is not too keen to invest in Indian mines at present on account of the captive generation clause. The company, already a big importer of coal into Pakistan, has begun operations in the US too.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
State-owned Maritime Board has planned to develop a few ports and jetties in the state on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) system. The project, which is estimated to cost Rs50,000 crore is slated to start in the next few months.
In a meeting held recently, State has agreed in principle on the proposal presented by the Maritime Board. “It includes the development of five to seven ports including Revas, Mandwa, Vijaydurg and Dhamankhol. It will be conducted under the BOT system and enable the State to grow its export drastically,” said Pritamkumar Shegaokar, deputy president of the Board. He said the tenders will be invited in the next few weeks and the work will start as soon as possible.
Sources from the Board said that the State is focusing on ports to make sure that they are not used only for fishing purposes but major export is routed through them. “So, three marketing federation terminals are proposed on three major ports in Navi Mumbai, Nagpur and Marathvada,” he said. The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister and President of the Board Vilasrao Deshmukh, also sanctioned the Green Belt Project at Dhamankhol, Ratnagiri.
Segonkar said that ports in four districts in the Konkan belt have been given utmost importance. “Local fishermen in this area have been opposing the projects but we are holding meetings with their leaders to convince them.” State also sanctioned the permission for a shipyard at Tulsundewadi in Ratnagir
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Date:12/03/2007 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2007/03/12/stories/2007031203821300.htm
Work on port unsettles fisherfolk
Meena MenonA thermal power plant and the port face opposition
UNDER THREAT: Jaigad fishing village in Maharashtra.
JAIGAD (Ratnagiri district): The curving blue creek opens out before you on the road to the fishing village of Jaigad. There are several closely clustered villages right on the edge of the creek that depend exclusively on fishing for their livelihood. Niaz Ali Makki has just returned from a long stint in his boat. Fishermen like him are already being affected by surveying activities for the proposed port at Dhamankul close to the village that is being built by JSW Infrastructure and Logistics Limited.
``I saw huge iron rods going into the water for some survey work. We are small fishermen. The waters of the creek have fish right up to the edge of the shore. Once the port comes up, this will vanish,'' fears Makki. The Jaigad Fishermen's Cooperative Society, founded in 1968, has nearly 1,300 members. The fishermen oppose the 1,200 MW coal-based thermal power plant coming up at Nandivde nearby and also the proposed port, which will unload the imported coal.
Hussain Mir Abdul Sansare says the port will affect both small fishermen and the bigger ones with trawlers. The release of the water used by the power plant into the creek will play havoc on the water temperature, he points out. The fish catch here is exported to nearly 24 countries and the local economy centres on it, he added. Fish catch in the Jaigad area has been in the area of 56,430 tonnes in 1997-98 and about 42,364 tonnes in 1999-2000, according to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the project.
Around the creek there are about 9,000 families who depend on fishing. Badruddin Mia Zambarkar says that earlier boats used to travel as far as Dabhol creek, a two-hour boat ride to the north, which was once a prime fishing area. ``Now that the power plant has come there, the fish has all gone,'' he said. Jaigad is one of the finest creeks for marine life on the Konkan coast, say the fisherfolk.
Rashid Umar Dange, another fisherman, says that the company's survey work means that there is some drilling going all day near the proposed port site. Although the locals managed to stop work, it has started again under police protection. He said small fish come to the shallow creek waters to feed and once the creek temperature rises or there is a disturbance, these fish will not come here any more. The local fishermen have refused to help the company. But they are also fatalistic and believe that the port will come up anyway. They also fear that the port could cause flooding as Jaigad village has a small jetty around which water rises up higher in the monsoon.
Raaj Kumar, joint managing director and CEO, JSW Energy Limited, insists that the impact of the plant on marine life will be negligible. The water requirement for the proposed 1,200 MW power plant is 3,74,400 cubic metres a day. Water from the plant would be released into the creek only after it is passed through a cooling tower as suggested by the expert committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
JSW Energy Limited's Environmental Impact Assessment, says P.R. Arun, an environmental scientist, has not quantified the impact on fisheries, mangroves and coral reefs. The fly ash and effluents released into the sea and the creek could spell doom for the fisheries, he said.
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu
Meena MenonFarmers and fisherfolk are convinced it will pollute the air and affect horticulture in the region
JAIGAD (Ratnagiri district): Angry mango farmers and fisherfolk in Ratnagiri district are questioning the decision to locate a 1200 MW coal-based power plant at the stunning Jaigad creek on the Konkan coast. They are convinced it will pollute the air and adversely affect the extensive horticulture in the region. They say that their land was acquired for a steel plant but is now going to be used for a thermal power plant. Many gram panchayats in the region have passed unanimous resolutions opposing the project.
JSW Energy limited, part of the O.P. Jindal group, the company setting up the plant, says that its annual coal requirement of 4.14 million tonnes will consist of imported low sulphur coal and that it will adhere to all environment norms. But the farmers are not convinced. The fisherfolk who depend on Jaigad creek for their livelihood are also worried that the proposed port and the power plant will end their business.
The Ratnagiri Zilla Jagruk Manch, which was formed soon after the two public hearings held about the plant, is questioning the absence of transparency in the process of establishing the plant. The Manch also describes as bogus the Rapid Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out by the company for both the proposed port to unload the coal and the power plant. It has filed a public interest litigation petition in the Bombay High Court, demanding a proper hearing of their grievances. The court has served notices on the Collector, the company, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) and others.
The project awaits clearance from the MOEF. About 784 acres is already with the company and it is buying up 200 acres more. JSW is one of the eight companies that signed MOUs with the Maharashtra Government in 2005 to set up power plants. The State is facing a massive power shortage and load shedding this year touched 5700 MW. Yet, although farmers acknowledge the need for power, they feel that locating such a plant in a fragile ecosystem would destroy it completely.
Dr. Vivek Bhide, president of the Manch and a successful mango grower from Malgund, is proud that this year, along with 13 other farmers, he has exported Alphonso mangoes to Europe for the first time. He heads the Shree Mango Shetkari Mandal and, like many farmers, is apprehensive that once the power plant comes up, Alphonso mangoes will be the worst affected.
Farmers are particularly upset about the way the first public hearing, organised by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, was held in August 2006. ``The company did not even provide the EIA report before the hearing. There was chaos at the first hearing as the company could not give information in Marathi and it was postponed to next month,'' says Dr. Bhide. A month later, the next hearing was held at Nandivde where the plant will be located. ``This time there was a dramatic change and all the politicians were on one side with the company officials and the Collector. Our objections were not recorded and neither were our concerns addressed,'' he added.
According to government records submitted to the court, Ratnagiri has 61,000 hectares under mango, 4,930 under coconut and 83,262 of cashew. Over 4.5 lakh people are employed in this sector in the district. The farmers export to countries that have stringent norms and have obtained certification after sustained efforts.
Digambar Kamlakar Kane, a mango exporter from Reel near the proposed plant, points out that the company acquired land in 1993 for a steel plant.
In Kunbiwadi in Nandivde, which is about 200 metres from the proposed coal-stocking yard, there is much anger. A half finished white cement fence marks the boundary.
Last December, Madhukar Damle went on a hunger strike to oppose the plant. ``The situation is suicidal and the common farmer will be affected,'' he said. His brother Vasant Damle, who sold the land to the company, has demanded that it be returned since the company was not setting up the plant they acquired it for. Land was acquired in the name of Jindal Iron and Steel, says the 70--year-old Damle who managed to get hold of the original agreement of sale. ``We have been deceived by the company,'' he says. Also, at that time, the company registered an agreement with the villagers saying that in case a steel factory did not come up in five years, the people had the option of buying back their land at Rs. 17,000 per acre. ``I want my land back now," says Damle, a former schoolteacher and journalist.
Raaj Kumar, joint managing director and CEO, JSW Energy Limited said land was partly acquired for an integrated steel plant in 1993 but there were objections then and the industry was shifted to Karnataka. The plant and port is expected to cost around Rs. 4,800 crores. He said the company was prepared to adhere to all pollution control norms and even help in local development.
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu
|BS Reporter / Mumbai/ Nagpur March 13, 2007|
|To open four new coal mines with a combined annual capacity of 3.65 mt.|
|Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) intends to invest Rs 200 crore to open four new mines in Vidarbha with a combined annual capacity of 3.65 million tonnes for dedicated supply to the state electricity utility’s thermal power plants in the region.|
|Sources said that negotiations on signing an agreement on cost plus basis with Maharashtra Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) were in final stages.|
|Three of these mines are open cast while one is an underground mine. They include, Durgapur extension, Bhatadi extension, Junad and Deep Waghoda underground mine.|
|The coal company expects to produce 2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) from Durgapur, 0.65 MTPA from Bhatadi extension, 0.60 MTPA from Junad Deep and 0.39 MTPA from Waghoda underground mine.|
|The projected capital investment for the mines is Rs 40.48 crore in Durgapur extension, Rs 74.29 in Bhatadi extension, Rs 30 crore in Junad Deep and Rs 55.15 crore in Waghoda underground.|
|Sources said that the coal company was unable to open these mines as the expected internal rate of return (IRR) had been calculated at less than 12 per cent.|
|Coal India Limited (CIL) has stipulated that new mines should have an IRR of more than 12 per cent. The mines can however, be operated if the coal company can find some consumer who is prepared to accept coal on a cost plus basis formula.|
|As Mahagenco has a number of thermal power stations in the region, it can get uninterrupted supply of coal from these mines and can afford the “cost plus” sharing formula in low transportation costs.|
|The WCL is already operating two mines, Adasa underground having an annual capacity of 0.21 MTPA and Kolgaon open cast with 0.40 MTPA capacity on cost plus basis on an agreement with Mahagenco.|
|The coal company’s total production in the last financial year was 43.2 MT and if these agreements are signed and new mines opened, it would increase substantially over the next four years.|