Thursday, November 5, 2009

Adani Power plans expansion at Tiroda

Adani Power plans expansion at TirodaThursday, 05 Nov 2009
Adani Power has reportedly decided to expand capacity at the under
construction 1,980 MW thermal power project in Tiroda, Maharashtra, to
3,300 MW.

The change in scope of capacity envisages a total investment of nearly
INR 14,000 crore.

The project is being implemented by Adani Power Maharashtra a subsidiary
of the company.
The power plant is expected to use coal from captive mines at Lohara and
Lohara extension coalfields. The company expects to generate power from
Tiroda by end 2010.

(Sourced from Project Today)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Energy unlimited

Energy unlimited


Coal India has set itself a target of producing 520.5 million tonnes of
coal for 2011-12 and 664 million tonnes for 2016-17.


Drilling the coal face in an underground mine.

COAL India Limited (CIL), a Navratna company headquartered in Kolkata,
is the single largest coal producer in the world. It is also one of the
world's largest corporate employers, with over 4.04 lakh employees. The
CIL, a holding company under the Ministry of Coal, was formed as a
public sector undertaking (PSU) in November 1975 with the mandate to
reorganise nationalised coal mines and ensure integrated development of
the coal sector. The CIL has eight subsidiaries: Eastern Coalfields Ltd
in West Bengal; Bharat Coking Coal Ltd, Central Coalfields Ltd and
Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd in Jharkhand; Northern
Coalfields Ltd in Madhya Pradesh; Western Coalfields Ltd in Maharashtra;
South Eastern Coalfields Ltd in Chhattisgarh and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd
in Orissa. The mines of North Eastern Coalfields in Assam and Meghalaya
operate directly under it. The CIL operates in 81 areas and 473 mines
spread over eight States. Its products include raw coal (coking and
non-coking), washed coal, middlings, soft coke and hard coke, coal tar,
coal gas and coal chemicals.

As the CIL turns 34 this year, it has adopted a multi-pronged strategy
to make itself globally competitive by introducing state-of-the-art high
technology and building capacity that encompasses different facets of
the industry such as equipment utilisation, manpower deployment,
introduction of modern management tools in marketing and human resources

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Study the impacts first!

Study the impacts first!
The Delhi High Court rules that a proposed thermal power plant cannot come up unless its likely impact on the growth on alphonso mangoes is studied first. Kanchi Kohli reports.

"Natural resources like air, water, forest, vegetation etc., are of great importance to the people as a whole and should not be subjected to private ownership or commercialisation, when public interest suffers a greater damage due to over exploitation of the nature. Lastly, Laws of Nature have to respected and for the benefit of people and human race require observation and compliance."

- text of 18 September 2009 order of the High Court of Delhi related to the environment clearance of M/s JSW Energy (Ratnagiri) Ltd.

14 October 2009 - This does not read like a court decision, but is more like a sermon. Nonetheless, this homily is what the JSW Energy (Ratnagiri) Ltd (JSWREL) received on 18 September 2009 - the High Court of Delhi asked the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) at the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to re-examine the environment clearance given to JSWERL's 1200 MW thermal powet plant located in Jaigad in Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra, in May 2007. In effect, this amounts to a stay on any further construction on the project. This surprise decision came from a two-judge bench comprising of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.

Let's rewind a year back, when things were very different. Back then, the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) based in New Delhi had taken an anti-environment stance in its ruling in favour of JSWREL (see this earlier article). The NEAA is the body before which an aggrieved person can challenge environment clearances granted to industrial or infrastructure projects. But the meticulous contentions filed by a local farmer Balchandra Bhikaji Nalwade (through pro-bono lawyers Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Chaudhary) were written off by the members of the NEAA in favour of the company.

A range of contentions had been raised on the procedures and quality of envrionment assessments. These include the fact that the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report was not made avaiilable to the locally affected people 30 days prior to a public hearing, as is mandatory. Another point was that the EIA report did not duly assess the impacts on the ecologically sensitive areas and mangroves in the area. The district is also known for its famous alphonso mangoes, which are very susceptible to decline in yield and quality due to pollution from the thermal plant. This too was not addressed. Further, the project authorities did not put forward any alternate sites for their project, as required by law.

None of this made an impact with the NEAA, which ruled that the large gap between energy demand and supply in the state warranted environment clearance to the project (more details on the NEAA judgement are at this link). Nalwade and the advocates challenged this ruling before the Delhi High Court soon after. The High Court heard the matter over several hearings reserved its judgement on 21 April 2009. The final decision, pronounced on 18 September 2009, reversed the NEAA's verdict.

For the NEAA, this is another reminder of how far it has fallen in its work. Its reputation has been so marred since its founding that even the Government is now thinking of creating a different institution (see this article).

The High Court's words quoted above reflect a paricular aspect of the case which troubled the judges. At the time of the hearing for environment clearnace, the EAC was aware that a case against the project was pending before the Bombay High Court, filed by the Ratnagiri Zila Zagruk Manch in which the issue relating to impact of the project on alphonso mango plantations had been raised. JSWREL informed the EAC that a preliminary study was carried out by the Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth (Agricultural University), Dapoli (KKVD). The minutes of the meeting further show that the full report would be available in six months' time. The right thing to do would have been to wait for this work to be completed.

But the EAC chose not to wait six months. Rather, the committee ruled, "... it appears that the activities to be undertaken by JSWERL ... are not likely to affect horticultural plantation and mango plantation, as well as marine life, significantly provided JSWERL strictly maintains its adherence to its commitments made for preventing environmental pollution from time to time in long run." Based on this line of thinking and other facts the EAC recommended the project for environment clearance, but added a condition that while the project can be granted clearnace, the assessment of impact on alphonso mangoes should be carried out alongside.

What if a study after 2 years were to reveal irreparable damage to the mangoes? Would JSWERL give up its construction or operations? The EIA took no view on this - in effect its ruling appeared to assume that any study to assess the potential impact of the plant on mangoes in the area would not find anything adverse to the project. One is tempted to ask, why carry out impact assessments then, if the EIA can itself take a view on what those assessments might find?

Fortunately, the High Court has take a dim view of this stance. In its order, the High Court noted that "any final assessment would require a detailed study for a period of four years to evaluate the impact on mango plantations and the marine life/fisheries ...". The court observed that the March 2007 decision of the EAC was not based on the complete report of the KKVD but only on its preliminary findings, which were in turn based on the Rapid EIA prepared by a consultant paid by the JSWREL itself.

The High Court has now sent the matter back to the EAC, asking them to review their decision based on the final report of the KKVD and the data collected and analysed by the insitution. The order states, "the Expert Appraisal Committee will not be prejudiced and influenced by their earlier clearance or the order passed by NEAA. Re-examination exercise will be completed expeditiously, and preferably within a period of three months from today. While re-considering the matter the Expert Appraisal Committee will keep in mind the principle of sustainable development as explained and propounded by the Supreme Court."

The court's order is also clear that until specific approval is granted by the Expert Appraisal Committee, the thermal power plant will not be made operational and integrated with the power grid." The order also says that the environment clearance, if granted again, will be appealable before the NEAA.

This is an exemplary decision, especially because it quotes several critical environmental principles related to natural justice and also interprets sustainable development in a way where pollution and damage to the ecosystem and environment must not exceed nature's carrying capacity.

However, even this welcome judgement is dissapointing on a few counts. One of them is the fact that the original application had brought to notice that the project authorities had not even made an attempt to locate alternate sites other than Jaigad. Unfortunately, the High Court has gone by the company's explaination that they did not do this because the proposed site was ideal due to its accessibility by road, availability of table top barren land, availability of sea water for cooling, potential for unloading of imported coal and exporting fly ash. Also there were no rehabilitation and resettlement issues as the area was not inhabited.

In effect, the company argued that the advantages of the present location were so great that it had done away with looking for an alternative. It seems to have escaped the company's attention that there is no waiver in the law for such advantages - if that were the case, every project developer would argue that his chosen location is simply the best. The High Court's inaction on this front has allowed the company a free pass with this view.

Irrespective, the two-judge bench has taken a very strong decision. It is for us to see how the EAC, which is already looking at the environment clearance for the expansion of the same power plant, will redeem itself of the deeply faulty decision it gave in the first place. And as for any remote, residual faith in the NEAA, the less said the better.

Kanchi Kohli
14 Oct 2009

Kanchi Kohli is based in New Delhi and a member of the Kalpavriksh Environmental Action Group.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Indiabulls to supply 1,000 Mw to Tata Power


*Indiabulls to supply 1,000 Mw to Tata Power
BS Reporter | 2009-10-09 01:20:00
Indiabulls Power Ltd has inked a long-term power purchase agreement
(PPA) with Tata Power for sale of 1,000 Mw of power. The agreement with
the company was signed in June this year. The power will be supplied
from Indiabulls Power's Amrawati Phase-I power project in Maharashtra.
"The PPA is for a term of 25 years from the date of commercial
production of the first unit. We are expecting to start supply from the
year 2012," said Ranjit Gupta, chief exectutive officer, Indiabulls
Power Ltd.Apart from this, the company has also entered into memorandum
of understanding (MoU) with Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution
Company Limited (MSEDCL). As part of the agreement, Indiabulls Power
intends to supply 1,000 Mw of power from Amrawati Phase-I project, which
requires an investment of Rs 6,888 crore.It has also tied-up with
Chattisgarh State Electricity Board for the sale of 65 per cent of power
proposed to be generated from Bhaiyathan power project in
Chattisgarh.Though we have signed PPAs with some of the existing players
in power sector, the company is also focused on supply of power through
competitive bidding. "The company will also participate in bidding for
supply of 3,000 Mw of power to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL)", he
added.Currently, the company has five coal-fired thermal power projects
under various stages of development. Of the five coal-based power
projects having generation capacity of 6,615 Mw, three are in
Maharashtra and remaining in Chattisgarh. The total investment for the
development of these projects is around Rs. 31,000 crore, for which the
company is coming out with initial public offer.The company has
agreements with the governments of Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh to set
up power projects. It is evaluating options to set up a 1,320 Mw thermal
project in Jharkhand and a 2,640 Mw one in Madhya Pradesh. The company
is already developing four medium-sized hydropower projects in Arunachal
Pradesh aggregating to 167 Mw.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

No new projects in coastal areas, river basins

No new projects in coastal areas, river basins
Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, September 18, 2009

The environment ministry has decided not to allow any new projects in the coastal parts of India, river basins of Teesta and Ganga and ecological hotspot of Western Ghats, till damage caused by existing projects is assessed.

It is for the first time that the ministry has put a moratorium on construction of new projects and implementation of the pending projects in the environmentally sensitive areas.

“We have decided that no new projects in 24 critically polluted areas and major river basins and no new coastal ports will be allowed till we find out whether local environment can cope with the additional burden that will be caused by these projects,” Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh said.

This means that work on four powers projects in Teesta river basin in Sikkim, National Thermal Power Corporation’s 600 MW plant in Lohari Nath Pala (Uttrakhand) and three power projects in Western Ghats (Karnataka) has been stopped.

Construction of at least seven new port projects has been stopped. No new industrial units are being allowed in polluted industrial areas like Vapi Akhileshwar in Gujarat, Tromboy in Maharashtra, Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh and Raichur in Karnataka.

The first protest came from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. “The environment ministry’s decision of moratorium is unacceptable,” he said at a meeting in the Planning Commission. “The state economy thrives on ports, whose construction and expansion has been banned.”

The moratorium is likely to stay till end of November.

HC questions environmental clearance to Jaigarh plant of JSW

Print : 676141 : HC questions environmental clearance to Jaigarh plant of JSW

September 25,2009
Source: PTI
HC questions environmental clearance to Jaigarh plant of JSW

New Delhi, Sep 25 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has questioned the environmental clearance granted to JSW Energy to set up a power plant at Jaigarh, which falls under the ecological belt famous for growing premium alphonso mangoes.
A bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah directed the a committee formed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to reconsider the approval granted to the company to set up a 1,200 MW thermal power plant Jaigarh in Maharashtra. The court asked the panel to submit its report in the next three months.

JSW Energy in a statement today said that the"order does not prohibit the company to continue the implementation of the project nor undertaking tests and operational trials".

"We direct that the expert appraisal committee will re- examine the approval already granted after considering the report of KKVD on the basis of the data collected and analysed by them,"the court said.

The Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli, (KKVD), which carried out project's impact assessment survey, had said that the upcoming 1,200 MW power plant at Jaigarh in Maharashtra will"not have a irreversible adverse impact on environment."

The court also said till the expert committee submits its reports, the plant"will not be made operational and integrated with the power grid". However, it allowed the company to undertake test and trials at the plant.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finally a Farmer's victory over Thermal power plant !!

Alphonso grower's plea holds up JSW power plant
Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA
Thursday, September 24, 2009 2:39 IST

New Delhi: Power-starved Maharashtra has suffered another jolt with the Delhi high court ordering JSW Energy Limited not to make its 1,200MW thermal power station at Jaigad in the alphonso mango beltof the Konkan operational until it is cleared by an expert appraisal committee (EAC).

"While reconsidering the matter, the EAC will keep in mind the principle of sustainable development," a bench ofchief justice AP Shah and justice Sanjiv Khanna said. The bench ordered the committee to do the job quickly.

The order came on a writ petition filed by mango grower Bhalchandra Bhikaji Nalawade, who said his livelihood was endangered by the project. Nalawade said the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board gave permission to the plant without assessing its environmental impact.

JSW said the project was set in motion only after various environmental authorities granted approval and it was due to become operational in four months. The Bombay high court is also seized of the matter in another petition but hasn't stayed the project.

The company said the aspects relating to gaseous discharges and suspended particulate matter had been dealt with in environmental assessment reports and discussed by the National Environment Appellate Authority and the EAC.

The company said mango plantations within 10km of the plant account for just 1.07% of the area of 31,381 hectares. It also stressed the need for early execution of the project in view of Maharashtra's power crisis. But the court emphasised the need to strike a balance between economic growth and environmental protection.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) had signed a memorandum of understanding with JSW to supply 300MW from the plant. "This power was expected to start flowing into the state's grid only from October next year," an MSEDCL official said.

With inputs from Shwetaa Rahul in Mumbai

Monday, September 21, 2009

No load-shedding in two years, promises BJP

No load-shedding in two years, promises BJP
Sakaal Times - Pune,India
“After all, what's there to giving boost to a private power plant? ...
himself in the process of building a Rs 15000 crore private thermal power
plant said. ...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

JSW Energy nears coal-supply linkage deal in Indonesia

Printed from

JSW Energy nears coal-supply linkage deal in Indonesia
26 Aug 2009, 0624 hrs IST, Pradeep Pandey, ET Bureau

MUMBAI: Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW Energy is close to finalising a coal-supply linkage pact in Indonesia and is also exploring options of acquiring

coal mines in South Africa and Australia, to secure coal supplies for its forthcoming power projects. The company is in the final stages of completing due diligence for a 50-million tonne coal linkage in Indonesia, according to a person close to the development.

JSW Energy has already identified a coal mine in South Africa and is in talks with Australian miners to tie-up fuel linkages for its proposed power plants and for JSW Steel. If the deals are finalised, JSW Energy would get additional coal linkage of 250 mt. Currently, JSW Energy has access to limited coal reserves in India and is largely dependant on imports. Besides making full-fledged acquisitions, JSW Energy is also in talks with the South African government for jointly developing coal mines.

When contacted, joint MD SS Rao said: “We are open to all available overseas options.” He declined to divulge further details as the company has filed a regulatory draft with the Sebi for its forthcoming IPO that aims to raise around Rs 3,000 crore. It has targeted to commission 3,140 mw by the end of 2010. “We may enter the capital market by the end of October , depending on the regulatory approval,” Mr Rao added.

JSW Energy will deploy the proceeds from IPO for developing identified generation and transmission projects, mining ventures and to service debt. It currently generates 560 mw of power from a plant in Karnataka and has 3,090 mw of generating capacity at various stages of implementation. The company has also entered into long-term power purchase agreements with the governments of Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

JSW Energy has plans to import 13 mt of coal for its upcoming power plants at Ratnagiri and Vijaynagar, Karnataka. The company has also secured coal supplies from a block in Orissa where it has a JV with Mahanadi Coalfields, where it would be able to procure around 90 mt in the long term.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gujarat leads India's power drive, adds 2,211 mw in 2 yrs

Sachin Kumar / DNA
Friday, August 7, 2009 9:28 IST

Ahmedabad: Thanks to the proactive and investor-friendly policy of the Gujarat government, the installed power capacity in the state leapfrogged from 8,079 MW in February 2007 to 10,290 MW in June 2009. This 27% rise in power generation capacity is the highest in the county in the past two years.

Between February 2007 and June 2009, the state increased its power generation capacity by 2,211 megawatt, leaving behind even Maharashtra, the largest producer of electricity in the country. Karnataka stood second with an additional 1,854 mw added during the same period while Tamil Nadu grabbed the third spot by adding 1,667 mw to its capacity.

Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data indicate that Gujarat, which ranks third in power generation, had an installed capacity of 8,079 mw in February 2007. This grew to 10,290 mw by June this year. The state sector's contribution to power generation stood at 5,701 mw while the private sector generated 4,591 mw. If the central government's 2,583 mw is taken into consideration, the total installed capacity of the state stands at 12,875 mw.

In June 2009, India had a total installed capacity of 1,50,323 mw, of which a major chunk (around 64%) is thermal power. The contribution of hydro power was 24.6% while the rest came from nuclear and other renewable sources of energy.

Experts give credit to the Gujarat government for the achievement in power sector. "The government had foreseen the enhanced power requirement of the state and had framed investor-friendly policies which attracted investment in private sector," said PK Mishra, chairman of the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission. "The Vibrant Gujarat summit is one of the government's initiatives to woo investors for the power sector."

The state's private sector power producers agree. "The investor-friendly approach of the state government is the main reason why investment in the state's power sector has flown in," said RK Gupta, director, Adani Power Limited.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

JSW Energy to go public with Rs 3k-cr IPO

The Financial Express
Posted: 2009-08-15 23:59:15+05:30 IST, Updated: Aug 15, 2009 at 2359 hrs IST

Mumbai: JSW Energy, a part of Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group, has filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to enter the capital market with an initial public offering (IPO) of equity shares of Rs 10 each for cash at a price (including a share premium) aggregating up to Rs 3,000 crore to fund the proposed capacity addition of 12,000mw. The issue, which is to be decided through a 100% book-building process, comprises a net issue of equity shares to the public and a reservation of equity shares for eligible employees.

The company's move comes close on the heels of oversubscription of state-run NHPC's IPO for 24 times and Adani Power's Rs 3,000-crore issue for over 21 times.

The company earlier had to defer its plans to go for an IPO to raise around $1 billion and dilute 10% stake owing to the slowdown and volatility in the stock markets.

According to a company release, at least 60% of the net issue will be allocated on a proportionate basis to qualified institutional buyers (QIBs), out of which 5% will be available for allocation on a proportionate basis only to mutual funds. The remainder will be available for allocation on a proportionate basis to all QIBs, including mutual funds. The company may consider participation by anchor investors in the QIB portion in accordance with applicable Sebi guidelines. Further, not less than 10% of the net issue will be available for allocation to non-institutional bidders on a proportionate basis and not less than 30% of the net issue will be available for allocation to retail individual bidders on a proportionate basis.

Currently, Raj West Power Ltd (RWPL), a subsidiary of JSW Energy Ltd, is executing a 1000mw lignite-based plant at Barmer, Rajasthan. Another subsidiary, JSW Energy (Ratnagiri) Ltd (JSWERL) is currently engaged in the implementation of a 1200mw coal-fired plant at Jaigad in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. JSW Energy (Vijayanagar) Ltd (JSWEVL) is executing a 2 X 300mw power plant at Toranagallu, Bellary. JSWEL has also signed an MoU with the Gujarat government to implement a 1000mw plant in Junegarh district.

Further, the company proposes to execute power projects in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. It is also actively pursuing plans to enter into the hydro sector in Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim. The company also plans to enter the transmission sector.

The company has been awarded the operation & maintenance contract of the 100mw captive power plant at JSW Steel. The O&M contracts for the captive plant and the 2 x 30mw power plant at SISCOL being executed by JSW Steel Ltd will also be entrusted to JSW Energy after declaration of their commercial operation.

Monday, August 10, 2009

SPM touches alarming levels in Chandrapur

SPM touches alarming level in Chanda: Report - Nagpur - City - NEWS - The Times of India
NAGPUR: With the suspended particulate matter (SPM) touching alarming levels in Chandrapur, living in this otherwise forest area has made life difficult. Thanks to the Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station, air pollution has once again become a cause of concern for the citizens.

A survey conducted by the Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board (MPCB) revealed that last year's SPM levels were far higher than they were in the past. As per figures provided by the MPCB, the SPM levels in Chandrapur last year touched 924 micrograms. Notably, the levels should not be more than 100 micro-grams.

The pollution levels in sensitive areas, which house schools and hospitals, too have surpassed the permissible limit. Rampant industrialisations, apart from fumes emitted by the power station and other industries, is being attributed to the problem. Ahir claimed that in the recent past, over 65% of forest areas in the district have vanished. Starting from Ballarpur to Warora, many jungles have disappeared due to set up of new industries. However, the MPCB has failed to keep check on pollution norms, he alleged.

A senior MPCB officer said 150 mg/Nm3 was the permissible limit for any increase could prove hazardous for health. "Besides power station and new coal mines in and around Chandrapur is responsible for high levels of pollution," said Chandrapur MP Hanshraj Ahir.
Citing examples of violation of pollution norms by CSTPS, Ahir said in 2008 the unit has allegedly exceeded its permissible limits of releasing suspended particulate matter. On March 4, 2008, Unit 2 had exceeded its permissible limits by generating 924 SPM. Similarly, another unit on the same day (March 4, 2008) had recorded 536 SPM. Likewise, over 20 times, the SPM has exceeded over 200 mg/Nm3, said the MP. Ahir said, "This is an issue which needs to be tackled seriously. It's high time that something concrete is done."
PB Jayakumar / Mumbai August 07, 2009, 0:58 IST

J Suresh Kumar, chief financial officer of the Hyderabad-based Lanco Infratech, says the lull in raising funds in the past few months is now a distant memory. “The power sector has always been rosy. There were only some temporary problems in the past few months due to liquidity issues in the global markets. That phase is over. At least 15,000 Mw of projects worth over Rs 70,000 crore will achieve financial closure in 2009-10,” he said.

Tata Power profit doubles to Rs 396 cr

The Hindu Business Line : Tata Power profit doubles to Rs 396 cr

Tata Power profit doubles to Rs 396 cr

Our Bureau

Mumbai, July 31 Tata Power has registered a 108 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 396 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, up from Rs 190 crore in the same period last year.

This was on account of a revenue adjustment of Rs 232 crore and reduction in expenses.

The adjustment is linked to the Maharashtra State Electricity Regulatory Commission tariff orders last year and the Appellant Tribunal’s judgment for electricity received this fiscal.

Operating income fell marginally to Rs 2,015 crore (Rs 2,026 crore). Sales volume of electricity units was up a tad to 4,180 million units (MUs) from 4,115 MUs.

The Trombay thermal power station generated 2,778 MUs during the year, from 2,669 MUs in the previous year. The generation was 803 MUs (784 MUs) at the Jojobera facility and 107 MUs (92 MUs) at the Belgaum plant. Implementation of the 4,000-MW Mundra project is on track and overall project progress is 26 per cent, said a press release.

The 1,050-MW Maithon Power Ltd, a 74:26 venture between Tata Power and Damodar Valley Corporation, has achieved 54 per cent completion. The first unit is scheduled to be commissioned by October 2010 and the second by April 2011.

On Friday’s trade, the Tata Power stock on the BSE closed at Rs 1,302.5, up from the previous close of Rs 1,293.90.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Coal shortage in TPPs

Coal shortage at major thermal plants of the country continues  
Wednesday, 01 July 2009

Lehra Mohabatt plant has three days coal stock
CHANDIGARH: There seems to be no end in sight for coal supply shortages for major thermal power stations across the country including Punjab.

According to sources 30 thermal stations were facing critical coal stocks levels, which can sustain operations in these plants for less than seven days. More deplorably, the coal stock position in 12 large stations has been found to be super-critical, with stocks expected to last less than four days.

In the northern region 920 MW Lehra Mohabatt thermal plants in Punjab comes under super critical category. The coal stock at Lehra Mohabatt thermal plant 55170 MT and is just sufficient for three days. 1260 MW Ropar thermal plant is amongst those plants where coal stock is critical as the coal stock is 119936 MT sufficient for five days.

According to a senior official normally before the onset of monsoon the coal stock at thermal plants should be sufficient for one month. The coal transportation to thermal plants is hampered in the rainy season and flooding of coal mines.
In the neighboring Haryana 1360 MW Panipat thermal plant has coal stock of 134000 MT sufficient for five days. In Rajashthan Kota and Suratgarh thermal plants have coal stock of 4 days.

According to sources factors such as lower coal production by Coal India Limited, inadequate linkages and unloading constraints, among others have been, predominantly, responsible for such precarious conditions at a number of thermal plants in the country.

Some of plants facing super-critical stock levels include super-thermal station like NTPC`s 3000 MW Talcher station in Orissa. On the other hand, NTPC`s 1840 MW Kahalgaon plant in Bihar, DVC`s 1340 MW Mejia power station in West Bengal and Reliance Power`s 500 MW Dahanu power plant in Maharashtra are having to put up with critical coal stock levels.

Meanwhile the coal requirement during the year 2009-10 has been pegged at some 404 million tones. Out of this 404 MT coal requirement CEA has presumed that about 399 MT of coal would be supplied indigenously .However the actual domestic availability has been pegged at 363 MT by Coal India Ltd. leaving a gap of 36.8 MT. The balance coal quantity is likely to be imported by power utilities.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Mahagenco to set up 1,320 mw thermal project near Dhule

News By Industry-News-The Economic Times
Mahagenco to set up 1,320 mw thermal project near Dhule
12 Jun 2009, 0130 hrs IST, Pradeep Pandey, ET Bureau

MUMBAI: In a move that could reduce power shortage in Maharashtra, the state power generation company Mahagenco has decided to set up a 1,320
mega watt greenfield thermal power project at Dondaiche near Dhule. Confirming this, Mahagenco managing director Subrat Ratho told ET that the power generation firm has submitted a proposal to this effect to the state government. He said that the construction work will start by March next year.

“We have started acquisition of land. We are in the process of finalising consultants for the project. The tenders will be called in September for the supply of boilers, turbines and other equipment,” he added. Mahagenco will
acquire 842 acres for the project.

According to another Mahagenco official, who did not wish to be named, the investment for the project, including development of infrastructure as well as coal mines at Chedipada in Orissa, is pegged at Rs 8,580 crore. Energy experts, however, are of the opinion that the number is on the higher side and it might be revised downward, if the government decides so. The plant will require about 6.88 metric million tonne of coal per annum at its full capacity.

With two units of 660 MW each, the project that will be based on super critical technology is expected to start commercial operations in 2014. The same Mahagenco official said the debt-equity ratio of the project is estimated to be 80:20. The required debt will be raised from the Power Finance Corporation and the Rural Electrification Corporation, while the state government will chip in towards its equity contribution.

Currently, it produces around 10,000 MW from a handful of coal, gas and hydro power plants, and plans to add another 2,000 MW next fiscal through its upcoming projects at Kapaskhera and Bhusawal in Maharashtra. Further, the proposed projects at Chandrapur and Dondaiche will scale up its capacity by another 3,000 MW to 15,000 MW in 2014.

Maharashtra is witnessing a shortfall of power of around 4,500 MW in the peak summer season. However, the scenario may improve after the proposed addition of capacity by Mahagenco and some other private players, including Ratnagiri Gas Power Project. Ratnagiri Gas Power Project has raised its generation capacity to 950 MW from earlier 600 MW. It will scale it up further to 1,900 MW by March 2010.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Power from water in state takes a dip - Mumbai - Cities - The Times of India

Mumbai - Cities - The Times of India
Power from water in state takes a dip
9 Jun 2009, 0124 hrs IST, Chittaranjan Tembhekar, TNN

MUMBAI: Though Maharashtra's power generation from coal (thermal power) has gone up manifold, the power being generated from water (hydro power)
and natural gas has dipped considerably. Several such units are being phased out slowly, thereby increasing the gap between the installed capacity and the actual generation. This has resulted in a scenario in which the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has had to buy almost double electricity from the power producers outside the state in 2008 than it bought in 2007.

The scenario may remain grim if more power is not provided by private players. Of the eight private power projects sanctioned in the state a few years ago, only one has started generation. Except one that may start generation in September this year, the remaining six companies are yet to start the work because of red tape. This was revealed in Maharashtra's economic survey--released by the state government last week.

Against the installed power-producing capacity of 21,654 MW, actual generation capacity comes to around 11,450 MW.

The performance of many suppliers has been dipping. The Maharashtra State Electricity Generation Company Ltd generated hydro power of 4606 MKWH (million kilo watt per hour) power in 2008 against 5651 MKWH in 2007. Similarly, it generated 3730 MKWH power in 2008 against 4028 MKWH in 2007.

Tata Power Company also seem to have lost generation capacity of its hydro and natural gas units. It produced 1489 MKWH hydro power in 2008 against 2137 MKWH in 2007. Its power generation through natural gas was 1339 MKWH in 2007 against 1337 MKWH in 2008.

So, the amount of power MSEDCL bought has gone up along with the cost. It had to purchase 78836 MKWH electricity during 2008 at a cost of Rs 15262 crore as against the 49710 MKWH power in 2007 by spending Rs 11,706 crore. This is considered the biggest power purchase by any state in the country.

Except for Ratnagiri Gas Power Project Ltd's (RGPPL) addition of nearly 500 MW, the scenario may not improve unless the private companies come up with their units.

The economic survey says that of the total eight private players who are setting up power units in the state, the 1500 MW capacity plants of Tata Power in Deharand and Trombay have just started producing 250 MW from March 2009 while the Jindal Power Corporation's Jaigad unit promises commissioning of 300 MW in September this year. The remaining proposed six power generation units have still not got land acquisition and clearances to actually start construction work.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

simpler eco clearance norms for infrastructure projects

Panel suggests simpler eco clearance norms for infrastructure projects

Clearances under numerous rules can take years to come

Our Bureau

New Delhi, June 2 A high-power Finance Ministry panel has recommended that infrastructure projects should be subjected to much simpler environmental clearance rules.

Currently, apart from the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, projects need to get numerous clearances from rules under Sections 3, 6 and 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. The process can take several years sometimes.

The panel suggested that industrial/infrastructure projects should be allowed to bypass these rules and that the EIA Notification should be comprehensive enough to cover all the other rules.

The report was submitted to the Prime Minister before the election. Mr Jairam Ramesh is entrusted with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

The panel says that the Ministry does not grant the required clearances within the prescribed timeframe. To speed up things, it has come out with a large number of recommendations.

Thus, it has called for bringing in Standardised Terms of Reference (ToR) to minimise the time taken at the ‘scoping’ stage for repetitive projects.

This would apply to construction of berths and jetties, widening of national highways and construction of thermal power plants of capacity less than 1,000 MW.

Another recommendation is that all expansion of roads and highways should be exempted from public hearings.

Similarly, the expansion projects of major ports, which do not require additional land acquisition, should be exempted.

The panel suggested that data requirements should be relevant to the location of the project. Also, these should be identified and the onus of proof of correctness of the information should be placed upon the applicant.

It suggested a penalty, of cancellation of the project, if the information submitted is incorrect. This, it is expected, will reduce the scope for wrong information being filed.

In what may just be a coincidence, India eased import restrictions on scrap metals this week.

A few thousand tonnes were held up with the Customs, awaiting environmental clearance after they were found to be mildly radioactive.

Related Stories:
Gaps in India Inc preparedness on climate change: KPMG
Investment in rural infrastructure crucial

© Copyright 2000 - 2009 The Hindu Business Line

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mundra Thermal Power Plant Set To Commence Operation In Gujarat

First Unit Of Adani Power’s Mundra Thermal Power Plant Set To Commence Operation In Gujarat - Energy Business Review : News
First Unit Of Adani Power’s Mundra Thermal Power Plant Set To Commence Operation In Gujarat


By Staff Reporter

Adani Power Limited (Adani Power), an ancillary of the Adani Group, has announced that the first unit of its Mundra thermal power station is ready to commence operation on May 20, 2009 in Gujarat. The company is prepared to produce 330 megawatts (MW) out of 4,620 MW total capacity in the Mundra power facility. The power station will reach completion by the end of 2012. Adani Power has already entered into power purchase agreements with the Gujarat administration.

In later phases, the plant will supply power to Rajasthan, Haryana and Maharashtra.

For removal of power from Mundra power plant, Adani Power has established a 413 km, 400 kV dedicated transmission line.

Siemens AG has been awarded a contract to establish this transmission line.

China has supplied the equipment and technology for the project.

At least 10,000 workers including laborers have been hired at the project site, with Chinese workers representing 10%.

Adani Power’s goal in the next five years is to achieve 9000 MW power generation with a 100% growth inputs in each stage.

First unit of Gujarat’’s Mundra power plant ready for operation » First unit of Gujarat’’s Mundra power plant ready for operation
First unit of Gujarat’’s Mundra power plant ready for operation
Posted on May 14th, 2009 in Latest India News

Mundra (Gujarat), May 14(ANI): The first unit of Mundra power plant in Gujarat is set to start by May 20.


The Adani Power, an ancillary of the Adani Group, is ready to generate 330 MW out of 4620 MW capacity in Mundra power plant.

The country’’s largest and world’’s third largest thermal power plant, the Adani power plant will be completed by the end of 2012.

“At Mundra power project, the total capacity is 4620 MW. It is in four stages wherein the first unit is likely to be commissioned on May 20. And thereafter, all units will be commissioned one after the other every three months. These four units are basically meant for supplying 1000 MW power which we have committed through the PPA to Gujarat,” said Rajkumar Gupta, director, Adani Power Limited.

The company has already signed Power Purchase Agreements with the Gujarat Government. The project will also give power to Maharashtra, Haryana and Rajasthan at later stages.

The company has also set up a 413 km, 400 KV Mundra-Dehgam dedicated transmission line for evacuation of power from Mundra power station.

The contract to set up the transmission line was taken up by the Siemens, a German company.

The technology and the equipment for the project are from China.

At least 10,000 workers including labourers are employed at the site. Ten per cent of the employees are from China.

At the Adani Power, 9000 MW power generation is targeted in the coming five years with a 100 per cent growth inputs in every phase.

This project is much bigger than the Ultra Mega Power Plants (UMPP) set up across the country.

Power generation in the country is steadily improving every year. (ANI)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Coal in place, GMR plans 2,000-Mw thermal plant

Coal in place, GMR plans 2,000-Mw thermal plant
Coal in place, GMR plans 2,000-Mw thermal plant
Mahesh Kulkarni & Ravi Menon / Bangalore May 12, 2009, 1:12 IST

GMR Energy, a subsidiary of Bangalore-based infrastructure company GMR Infrastructure Ltd, is planning to set up a 2,000-Mw thermal power plant near a port on the west coast. The company has already tied up coal supplies by acquiring a mine for $100 million in Indonesia last year.

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A Subbarao, chief finance officer, GMR Group, said total investments in the power project were yet to be ascertained. “The investments will be decided on the basis of the capacity of the power plant. Typically, a 1,000-Mw thermal power plant requires an investment of Rs 4,500 crore,” he told Business Standard.

Although the company has not finalised the location of the plant, it would like to have it close to key consumption centres in Maharashtra and Gujarat, where demand for power is high.

GMR Energy is in the process of identifying prospective locations along the east coast for the proposed plant.

“The Indonesian coal firm, which we acquired, will be ready for coal extraction in two years and we want to be ready with a project to utilise the raw material,” Subbarao said.

This mine has reserves of 100 million tonnes (mt) and is spread over 25,000 hectares in southern Sumatra. The licence provides GMR with a 30-year mining lease over two separate coal blocks.

GMR Energy has two power projects in operation in Chennai and Mangalore with a cumulative capacity of 420 Mw, and is setting up greenfield projects (thermal and hydro) with a cumulative capacity of 3,130 Mw. These projects are spread across Uttarakhand, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The board of directors of GMR Group, at their meeting in Bangalore on Saturday, decided to seek shareholder approval to raise up to $1 billion to fund growth plans, which include road and power projects.

“We are competitive in our tariff. We are yet to sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) with any government for the new thermal power plant. Once we finalise the location, we will sign the PPA,” Subbarao said.

He said the company was not looking at roping in a partner for the thermal power project.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

JSW Energy to invest Rs 8k cr in two projects

JSW Energy to invest Rs 8k cr in two projects- Power-Energy-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times
JSW Energy to invest Rs 8k cr in two projects
11 May 2009, 0051 hrs IST, Pradeep Pandey, ET Bureau

Print EMail Discuss Share Save Comment Text:
MUMBAI: The JSW group-promoted JSW Energy is planning to invest Rs 8,000 crore to build two thermal power projects of a combined capacity of over
2,000 megawatts in Chhattisgarh and Orissa in the current fiscal year, a senior executive said.

"These projects would use coal from the existing reserves in the area, as they are pithead projects," JSW group chairman Sajjan Jindal told ET. The group is looking for coal mines in Chhattisgarh and Orissa and is in talks with the respective governments, he added. "We've already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Chhattisgarh government and are in the process of acquiring land for the proposed project of 2X660 MW unit, in Orissa, we would be proceeding post election."

The financial closure for these projects would be completed by the end of the current fiscal year, along with the group's other projects in West Bengal and Jharkhand, where land acquisition has been completed, said Mr Jindal. The debt-equity ratio for the projects will be 3:1 and the funds may be lined up with a consortium of domestic banks led by SBI. JSW Energy has also entered into tie-ups with China's Shanghai Electric and Dong Fang of Korea to supply power equipment for the power plants.

The group has plans to build thermal power projects across the country and a hydro power project in Himachal Pradesh. For these projects, the group had envisaged investment of about Rs 16,500 crore in the previous fiscal year.

JSW projects at various places, excluding those in Rajasthan and Karnataka, were delayed by one year, as the group had put on hold its expansion plans due to the global financial crisis. JSW Energy was planning to raise about Rs 4,000 crore through an initial public offer last year. However, its power projects in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan will be fully commissioned by 2010. The combined capacity of these three projects is 3,600 MW. SS Rao, joint managing director of JSW Energy, said: "Last month, our two units at Vijayanagar, each of 135 MW, have already started operation. Another unit of 300 MW along with first unit of 8X135 at Barmer will start in July."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Green manifesto to save Western Ghats

Green manifesto to save Western Ghats
Green manifesto to save Western Ghats

Dhanya Matsa
First Published : 07 May 2009 03:19:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 07 May 2009 07:58:55 AM IST

CHENNAI: Candidates contesting from the 32 parliamentary constituencies that fall under the Western Ghats region in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, and Kerala would now have to sign a letter promising to take up measures to protect the Western Ghats.

An initiative of the Tamil Nadu Green Movement, Wildlife Association of Rajapalayam (WAR), and the Organisation for Social Awareness and Illumination (OSAI), Coimbatore, several non-governmental organisations and wildlife enthusiasts have drafted a manifesto on the Western Ghats to garner the support of policy makers, who will decide on these issues in their constituencies for the next five years.

Joint Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Green Movement, S Jayachandran, said: “The importance of issues such as protection of forests need to be emphasised among candidates so that they raise these issues at the national level.’’

He said that the manifesto detailed the connection between the protection of forests in the Western Ghats and ensuring water security in South India through the protecting the rivers such as Cauvery, Tungabhadra and Krishna.

The manifesto enumerates the danger of implementing various projects like mega thermal power plants, which were under consideration for implementation in places such as Konkan and the Western Coast.

The representatives of these organisations told Express that they would present the candidates with the manifesto that would enumerate the danger of constructing dams in the Western Ghats and emphasised on the need for a review of the existing dams in the Ghats to enable MPs to make an informed decision.

“The depleted forest cover occupies only less than 36 per cent, while it needs to have at least 66 per cent of the total geographical area of the Ghats. Also, rampant monoculture of exotic species should be discouraged, and instead, indigenous plants and trees should be grown to conserve the ecology of the Ghats. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve should be developed into a modern reserve. This will ensure ecological security for the three States,’’ said T S Subramaniyaraja, naturalist, Wildlife Association of Rajapalayam.

These demands were made after consultation meetings of over 85 organisations working towards saving the Western Ghats and S Jayachandran hoped that major political parties and their candidates would endorse these demands.

Monday, March 16, 2009

NEAA dismisses appeal againstShahpur project

522308 : Business : NEAA dismisses appeal against Maharashtra Energy Generation
NEAA dismisses appeal against Maharashtra Energy Generation

Published: March 12,2009

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New Delhi, Mar 12 The National Environment Appellate Authority has dismissed the appeal filed by a farmers&aposassociation challenging environment clearance order for the Shahpur project of Maharashtra Energy Generation Ltd, a Reliance ADAG group company.
The appeal was filed by Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti, which challenged the environment clearance for setting up a 4,000 MW natural gas and coal based power project at Shahapur district, Raigad.

The appeal was filed on the ground that the environment clearance order was based on misleading information, it did not take note of the Environment Protection Act and would lead to acute water logging problem in adjoining villages.

Besides, the gas based thermal power plant is unviable without standby fuel, while the order permits only two types of fuels namely coal and gas. Meanwhile, acute water problem was also envisaged in Alibag Taluka because of the proposed Thermal power plant.

The project, proposed to be implemented in two phases, requires 919 hectare.

Estimated project cost is Rs 12,000 crore which includes Rs 218 crore for environmental protection measures.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

SEAC minutes- Excerpt on Finolex TPP at Ranpar, Ratnagiri

Minutes of the 8th meeting of the State Level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC)
Date : 7th March, 2009
1. Shri P.M.A. Hakeem - Chairman
2. Shri GK Deshpande - Member
3. Dr. Kishore Bhoir - Member
4. Dr. SB Chapekar - Member
5. Dr V.R. Gunale - Member
6. Dr. SK Padole - Member
7. Dr. TG More - Member
8. Shri GN Warade - Member-Secretary
S.No. in the agenda

Name and addresss of the project proponent with brief details of the project: Finolex Industries Ltd.43 MW Thermal Power Project (Captive) at Ranpar, Ratnagiri ENV-08/C.R 175/C.R1
Category: B-2
Decision of the Committee:
Before the presentation was made by the project proponent, two representatives of Pawas Golap Dashahkroshi Janhit Samiti who wanted to make representation against the project were heard. They pointed out that there would be adverse impact on the environment of the district, particularly on mango trees and fisheries, if various proposed power projects (including the proposed captive power plant) to the tune of many thousands of MW are installed. They also stated that till various studies on the environmental impact of all such projects are carried out, approval to the project should be held up. The project proponent then made a detailed presentation on the need to set up the power project, as the steady power availability to their PVC project has become uncertain and the various proposed measures to substantially reduce the environmental impact of the project. They explained the various measures proposed to be taken to allay the fears of the people who have raised objection to the project and confirmed that the various measures promised to be taken by them in the public hearing would be implemented. After discussion, it was decided to recommend grant of prior environmental clearance to the project subject to the project
proponent complying/furnishing the following:
(i) Boiler capacity, exact quantity of ash to be generated, metal content of ash and physico-chemical characteristics of coal to be indicated.
(ii) Initiate steps to implement the assurances given in the public hearing to determine protocol/modalities to be followed on arrival of ships.
(iii) Indicate the proposed precautions to collect and treat surface drainage from the plot to ensure that water in the adjoining plots is polluted.
(iv) Explore the option of waste heat recovery.
(v) Details of the arrangement for the complete utilization of fly ash.
(vi) Explore the possiblility of providing flue gas desulphurisation considering the emission of sulphur dioxide or hydrogen sulphide in the exhaust.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Activists oppose nuclear, thermal plants in Konkan

Activists oppose nuclear, thermal plants in Konkan | Sindh Today
Activists oppose nuclear, thermal plants in Konkan
Feb 10th, 2009 | By Sindh Today | Category: India

Panaji, Feb 10 (IANS) The Save Western Ghats (SWG) movement, comprising of environmentalists and nature-lovers from throughout the country, has decided to form an action plan to oppose the setting up of thermal power plants and a nuclear power-plant along the Konkan coast.

The decision was taken following SWG’s national consultative workshop attended by over 100 delegates from seven states. The workshop was also attended by international delegates from Japan, Holland and Britain.

“We have decided to prepare a ‘State of the Western Ghats’ report, which will analyse the health of the environment in the Sahyadri region. We will also hold a series of meetings in the Western Ghat’s hotspots, where the ecological balance is likely to be threatened with the proposed developmental projects,” Kumar Kalanand Mani, one of the organisers of the SWG movement, told reporters late Tuesday.

“We will oppose the setting up of thermal power plants in the Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg regions of the Konkan and the nuclear power plant at Jaitapur,” he said.

Jayant Parulekar, who represents the SWG in the Konkan region, told IANS that the thermal power projects, which were proposed to salvage the deteriorating power scenario in Maharashtra, would severely affect the ecological balance of the Western Ghats, regarded as a prime ecological hotspot in the world.

“It is feared that the thermal plants would generate nearly 100,000-tonne fly ash every day, which will virtually choke the Western Ghats,” Parulekar said.

He warned that with the setting up of a nuclear plant in Jaitapur in Maharashtra and with the already existing nuclear plant at Kaiga in northern Karnataka, Goa would be right in the middle of a nuclear sandwich.

“Despite the best of precautions, the Chernobyl fiasco happened. With the setting up of the Jaitapur nuclear plant, Goa would be virtually nuclear-sandwiched,” Parulekar said.

Pandurang Hegde, founder of the Appiko movement, which is the southern equivalent of the Chipko movement in the Himalayas, said with the rapidly melting Himalayan glaciers, the Sahyadris would in the near future be the only cushion against global warming.

“Protecting the Sahyadris is no longer an option. It is now a compulsion,” he said.

The Western Ghats are spread over a 1,600 km narrow strip of land on the western coast of India stretching from Dhule in Maharashtra right up to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.

The SWG first shot into focus when a group of 3,000 green activists marched through the length of the Western Ghats in 1988 creating awareness about preserving the region.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

JSW to snap ties with Maytas, cancel two township contracts

Printed from

JSW to snap ties with Maytas, cancel two township contracts
28 Jan 2009, 2209 hrs IST, PTI

MUMBAI: Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group today said it would cancel the Rs 96-crore township project given to Maytas Infra, a company run by the
family of tainted Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju.

"We will change the contractor (Maytas Infra) for our two projects -- Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and Vijayanagar in Karnataka," JSW Steel Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Sajjan Jindal told reporters here.

The diversified conglomerate said it would not like to do business with a company involved in a "scam".

"We would not like to do business with a company that is involved in any scam. There is no one in that company anymore to whom we can complain in case of a slowdown (in work). So (it is) better to change the contractor," Jindal said.

The decision to cancel the contracts comes barely a fortnight after the JSW Group expressed confidence in the beleaguered firm and said it was "happy" with the progress on the projects.

JSW Group had given the Rs 53.60 crore order to build a township at Vijaynagar in Karnataka in September 2007, by way of competitive bidding, to the infrastructure company. Maytas Infrastructure bagged another order worth Rs 42.91 crore to construct the township in Ratnagiri in August 2008.

For the Ratnagiri project, JSW did not pay any advance while for the twonship contract in Karnataka it has paid less than the work done by Maytas, he said.

"One contract which is for our energy company at Ratnagiri has not started and we have not made any payment. They (Maytas) had not even given the bank guarantee and unless they give a bank guarantee we can not pay them advance," he said.

"For the township project in Vijayanagar, advances paid by us are less than the work Maytas has done," he said.

Monday, January 26, 2009

JSW to examine ties with Maytas

Indian Express
Priyadarshi Siddhanta Posted online: Jan 27, 2009 at 0119 hrs

New Delhi : Barely days after the Orissa government decided to put activities of beleaguered IT giant Satyam’s infrastructure arm Maytas Infra under the scanner, Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW has now decided “to review” its ties with the company in view of various reports about the company in the media.

Maytas had bagged orders worth about Rs 100 crore to build two townships for employees of JSW Steel in Vijaynagar (Karnataka) and for JSW Energy worth Rs 53.60 crore and at Ratnagiri (Maharashtra) worth Rs 42.90 crore. “In view of the reports coming in about Maytas, we intend to review our ties with it next week,” JSW Group chief financial officer and JSW Steel director (finance) Seshagiri Rao told The Indian Express. Reports say Maytas had completed about 35 per cent work in Vijayanagar, where JSW Steel is expanding its capacity to 7 MTPA. In Ratnagiri the group has a 1,200 MW power project. The project in Vijayanagar was awarded to Maytas in September 2007 after competitive bidding.

The Naveen Pattnaik government in Orissa too has asked KVK Nilachal Power company to make it clear by next week whether it wants to continue to partner with Maytas Infra or would go alone on developing the 1,200 MW power project in Cuttack district of the coastal state. The state has also asked the firm to spell out in detail on how it intends to raise the money for the same if it preferred to go alone.

“We had extensive interactions with representatives of KVK Nilachal Company here (Bhubaneswar) yesterday and asked them whether they wanted to continue with Maytas in developing the power project or would they prefer to go alone. In either case they will have to spell out the ways through which they intend to raise resources for executing the project,” Orissa energy secretary P K Jena had said. According to reports emanating from Orissa, KVK Nilachal is not averse to going alone on the project in case Maytas was out of it. “They (KVK Nilachal) said they will have express deliberations with Maytas officials and let us know by next week,” he pointed out. Maytas is hogging the limelight as never before and recently its CEO P K Madhav quit the company recently in view of his attention and energy being used to address the legal matters pertaining to the Nagarjuna Finance case.


Friday, January 23, 2009

New CERC guidelines gladden power generators : New CERC guidelines gladden power generators
New CERC guidelines gladden power generators news
22 January 2009

To the approval of the power generation industry, the Central Electricity Regulatory Committee (CERC) has issued a new notification that deals with the tariff computation for the years 2009-10 to 2013-14.

The new rules increase the return on equity for the period between 2009 and 2014 from 14 per cent to 15.5 per cent. The enhanced returns for generation companies would flow directly to the bottom line, as tariffs for power generation and transmission companies are fixed based on the sum of certain specified fixed and variable costs, to which the permissible return on equity is added.

In addition, projects that are completed on time will get an extra incentive of 50 basis points, or 16 per cent ROE. However, the regulation that only 30 per cent of the capital cost of a project may be funded by equity remains unchanged. The rest has to be funded by debt.

Under the new norms, the depreciation rate goes up to 5.28 per cent from the earlier 3.6 per cent, which will improve generating companies' top lines as well.

The irritating 'advance against depreciation' (AAD) clause has also been removed. AAD was introduced mainly to ensure that higher fixed costs are recovered in the earlier years so as to enable the project developer to repay loans.

In a move to encourage efficiency, fixed cost recovery would now be based on 85 per cent plant availability factor (PAF), as against the earlier 80 per cent plant load factor (PLF). The latter is an indication of demand, which is generally not within the control of the producer.

Though these steps will bring immediate benefit only companies that are subject to CERC, there may also be indirect benefits to private players in the future, as state governments will tend to follow the central guidelines. However, each state has a different timeline for this - Maharashtra's is 2009-10, while Gujarat is aiming at 2010-11.

The immediate beneficiaries would be the National Thermal Power Corp, Neyveli Lignite Corp, and Powergrid Corp. Prasanna Kumar, chairman and managing director of Neyveli, said in a TV interview that profits will increase and there will be incentive for generators to produce more power. He sees additional profit for future projects at Rs 32.5 crore, and is of the view that the additional depreciation will not impact bottomlines.

Sanjiv Goenka of the Calcutta Electric Supply Corp (CESC), an RPG group company, said that the CERC guidelines are equally good for private companies and it is up to state regulators to implement them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NPCIL-NTPC joint venture idea for nuclear power

AEC endorses NPCIL-NTPC joint venture idea for nuclear power

State-owned Nuclear Power Corporation and NTPC have moved a step closer towards setting up a joint venture for nuclear power production, with Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) endorsing the idea of synergy between the two.

"NTPC and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) had already signed an MOU late last year for the joint venture with a holding of 51 per cent by NPCIL and 49 per cent by NTPC. The joint venture proposal of these two undertakings was taken up for discussion on Monday by AEC which endorsed the idea," sources told PTI.

If India has to speed up the nuclear capacity to its ambitious target of 60,000 MW by 2030, it was important to take advantage of vast experience of NTPC, predominantly engaged in thermal power production, sources said.

"With nuclear expertise of NPCIL and NTPC's experience in power production, a long-term perspective of the synergy was favourably considered by the AEC," they said.

The AEC will deliberate upon the proposal in due course to work out details of terms and conditions, safeguards and other issues for the smooth functioning of the joint venture.

After working out the details, the proposal will go for cabinet approval and once approved, this will be the first joint venture to set up nuclear power plants in India.

NTPC has a good track record of producing over 27,000 MW of thermal power using mostly coal, and is in an advantageous position in terms of distribution and transmission of power and a wide networking with state electricity boards, sources said.

At present, 17 nuclear plants are run by NPCIL, an undertaking under the Department of Atomic Energy.

NPCIL has nuclear power plants at Tarapur (Maharashtra), Kakrapar (Gujarat), Kaiga (Karnataka), Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu), Kota (Rajasthan) and Narora (Uttar Pradesh) with a total capacity of 4120 MW and with six more plants under advanced stages of completion, it would go up to 7280 MW in the next year. Experts feel that if the JV is approved by the Centre, it would pave the way for private sector in nuclear power generation.

However, it is unlikely for private sector to enter this area, at least in the next five to six years as it required amendments in Indian Atomic energy Act besides working out nitty-gritties of the 123 agreement and India specific safeguards agreements with IAEA.

Already companies like Larsen and Toubro (L&T), Tata Power, Reliance Infrastructure, GMR, Jindal group, Hindujas, BHEL have evinced interest in setting up nuclear power plants.

Also, last week, US power major Westinghouse signed an MoU with L&T for fabrication and construction of a nuclear reactor in India. L&T is already supplying critical components for the construction of nuclear power plants to NPCIL besides providing civil work.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

People Power troubles Athena Power in Chhattisgarh

Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:05 am (PST)

In a major set back to Hyderabad-based Athena Power Projects (APPL)
public hearing had to be cancelled midway on 15th January due to
strong people agitation.

Athena Chhattisgarh Power Pvt. Ltd signed MoU with Chhattisgarh
Government to set up 1200 MW Coal based TPP with investment around
six thousand crore INR. Company decided to set up plant in Raigarh
district but due to agitation and demand of high price for land they
had to shift in another District Janjgir-Champa. Accordingly Public
Hearing was organized in village Singhitarai of Tehasil Dabhara.

Thousand of men & women from nearby villages approached at the venue
shouting and banners posters in hand "No information No hearing"
"Need land but No Company".

As usual administration did nothing to know the people about hearing
and EIA reports were not made available to Panchayats. Venue too was
fixed at remote place about 2-3 KM inside from main road. Due to
unanimously strong protest and procedural lapses raised by activists
of 'Jan Chetana' presiding officer had to acknowledge lapses
publicly and cancel the public hearing.

Even after announcement of cancellation people did not leave the
venue and company representatives hardly could leave safe under
police force.

Move on to exempt projects from EIA

Deccan Herald - Move on to exempt projects from EIA
Move on to exempt projects from EIA
DH News Service, New Delhi:

The Prime Minister’s Office on Friday proposed a new amendment to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), 2006 granting exemption to “certain projects” from environmental clearance for the next three years in states where no EIA authorities have been formed so far.

But the move is expected to trigger reactions from environmentalists, who claim that all sorts of industrial projects may be allowed under the garb of this notification without caring a hoot for the well being of the environment.

“In view of the delay being caused to expansion and modernisation projects due to several states not having constituted their EIA authorities yet, it is proposed to exempt a certain category of projects for up to three years,” the PMO said.

“Since the nature of the exemption was not specified, anything from power plant and paper mills to collieries and foundries may be allowed without the green clearance. The notification is an anti-thesis to the spirit of the EIA,” activist Leo Saldanha from Bangalore-based Environment Support Group told Deccan Herald.

“First you create an EIA, which states can not implement because of the draconian nature of the law. Then you bypass the EIA process arguing that no authorities have been set up. It’s like abandoning the entire environmental regulatory system,” he said.

Last July Kerala had rejected EIA questioning the real purpose of the assessment system. Tamil Nadu too had taken up the issue back in 2006.

“Deliberate expulsion of the specificity (in the list of projects to be exempted) means anything can get through,” said Saldanha who worked on the EIA norms since the last eight years.

Till the time of filing the report, the detailed notification is neither available on the website of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest nor on the PMO site.

Projects for modernisation and expansion using non-polluting technologies and processes which do not increase the pollution load are exempted from the purview of the EIA Notification.

Biomass based power plants up to 50MW capacity and prospecting of minerals are proposed to be exempted from the purview of the EIA notification.

Officials, however, claim that the notification aimed at improving the environmental vigil by making it compulsory for project proponents to make public the terms of the environmental clearance. They are to insert advertisement in at least two local dailies giving the details of the terms and condition behind the eco-clearance. Also local administrations – the municipality of panchayat – have to be kept in the loop.

The activists argue that these options are already available in the EIA norms and the new notification is nothing but an “eyewash” to grant bigger industrial and infrastructure projects with foreign funding without the necessary eco-clearance.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Load-shedding to be reduced by an hour in mid-February

Load-shedding to be reduced by an hour in mid-February-Pune-Cities-The Times of India
Printed from

Load-shedding to be reduced by an hour in mid-February
16 Jan 2009, 0216 hrs IST, TNN

PUNE: State energy minister Sunil Tatkare on Thursday announced that load-shedding in the state will be reduced further by one hour in mid-February when around 600 MW additional power will be available from Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL). Addressing a news conference here Tatkare stated that the hour-long relief in load-shedding announced on Tuesday was because of increase in generation.

"We recently reduced the load-shedding hours in the state but some political parties claimed that this reduction is due to the decrease in demand, which is not true," Tatkare said, adding, "Load-shedding was reduced because more power became available during past month."

He said that around 860 mw electricity was available in the state, from four different sources. Two hundred MW electricity has come from RGPPL, while 300 MW power has come from Uran Gas plant. The supply of coal has increased thermal power generation by 250 MW and rest 110 MW came from Sipat Project.

Tatkare stated that 600 mw additional power was likely to be available by mid-February. Out of this, 300 mw will be available by end of January and remaining in mid-February. Apart from this, more power generation is expected in the month of May. Tatkare said renovation and repairing of thermal power stations in the state was being undertaken which will further increase availability of power.

According to the minister, the renovation will cost around Rs 4,500 crore and will generate additional 1,200 MW power. "It will be available during the next three years and renovation works will be carried out at Bhusaval, Khaparkheda and Chandrapur power stations," he said.

"Along with additional generation, saving of around 1,000 MW will be achieved by feeder separation and single phasing," he said.

Yet another EIA Amendment !!

PIB Press Release
Press Information Bureau
Government of India

Friday, January 16, 2009
Prime Minister's Office

16:22 IST

Government of India has initiated the process of further rationalizing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006 with the issue of a draft notification inviting comments. These revisions have been made in view of experience gained in the last two years. The proposed changes seek to make the notification more comprehensive, simplify procedure where required and also enhance powers of states with respect to certain types of clearances.

For the first time it proposes to proactively provide for increasing societal vigil on environmental projects by making it compulsory for project proponents to make public the terms of the environmental clearance. The draft notification provides for the project proponent to compulsorily make public at their cost the terms of the environmental clearances obtained by them by advertising in two local newspapers of the district/state where the project is located. In addition, copies of the environmental clearances will also have to be made available by the sanctioning authorities to the local bodies whether panchayats or municipal bodies where the project is located and to relevant government offices at the local level. The Central and State authorities would also place the environment clearances on their websites.

These steps are intended to ensure that the conditions of environmental clearances are strictly complied with by the project proponents and in case of any lapse, this could be brought to notice by the local population or its representatives. This is expected to remedy situations where the enforcement is dependent on enforcement authorities on whom citizens cannot mount any pressure in the absence of their knowledge of the provisions of the environmental clearances. It is also expected that this will move the environmental protection agenda into the public domain and would be in keeping with the spirit of disclosure involved in the Right to Information Act.

Adoption of non-polluting technologies and processes which do not increase the pollution load and conservation of natural resources is sought to be promoted by liberalising existing provisions. Projects for modernisation and expansion using such technologies and processes are exempted from the purview of the EIA Notification. Biomass based power plants up to 50MW capacity and prospecting of minerals are proposed to be exempted from the purview of the notification. Further, in view of the delay being caused to expansion and modernisation projects due to several states not having constituted their EIA authorities yet, it is proposed to exempt a certain category of projects from scoping for three years.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

JSW not to cancel order to Maytas

JSW not to cancel order to Maytas - Software-Infotech-The Economic Times
JSW not to cancel order to Maytas
15 Jan 2009, 0014 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group is not planning to cancel the Rs 100-crore order given to Maytas Infrastructure, run by promoters of
fraud-hit Satyam Computers, as it is “happy” with the progress made by the firm on construction of two township projects.

“We are happy with the work undertaken by Maytas. We are not looking to cancel the order unless the company defaults on the contract,” JSW Group CFO Seshagiri Rao said.

About 35% of the work has been completed in Vijayanagar, where JSW Steel is expanding the capacity of its unit to about 7 mtpa, he said and added that construction activity at the Ratnagiri site, where the group has a 1,200 MW power project, has recently started.

JSW Group, which is predominantly interested in steel and the power sector, had given the Rs 53.60 crore order to build a township at Vijaynagar in Karnataka in September 2007, by way of competitive bidding to the infrastructure company promoted by the kin B Ramalinga Raju, the disgraced former Satyam chairman.

Maytas infrastructure bagged another order worth Rs 42.91 crore to construct the township in Ratnagiri in August 2008.

“We had also given the second order through competitive bidding to Maytas. They had past experience in setting up townships and we had reviewed its work on the Vijaynagar project also. They were technically qualified for our project,” he added.

Moreover, the group downplayed the appointment of former senior executive of Satyam, Sailesh Shah, as the JSW Group president (strategy), saying, he was “well” qualified for the post.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

MSEB officials (Real beneficiaries of our TPPs) under probe

Electricity board officials under probe-Mumbai-Cities-The Times of India

Printed from

Electricity board officials under probe
11 Jan 2009, 0000 hrs IST, TNN

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) has ordered a high-level probe against some of its senior officials who are accused of accepting bribes.

According to agency reports, Mario Cavinom, a senior executive of a valve manufacturing company in the US bribed MSEB officials to bag lucrative contracts between March 2003 and 2007. Covino pleaded guilty before a US district court judge to the charges of making corrupt payments to the tune of US $ 1,000,000 to officials of several state-owned entities worldwide, including MSEB.

MSEB director Ajoy Mehta confirmed that an inquiry has been ordered. "We will study the case, particularly on if we have a treaty with the US in such cases. We will also take up the case with the state and the Centre to obtain specific documents from the US court. Once we get the documents, we will decide the course of action,'' Mehta said.

According to official records, A M Ambhore was a member of the technical staff and A S Pophale was MSEB director when the board had purchased the valves from the US-based company. "We will seek information from these officials,'' a senior MSEB official said.

According to reports, MSEB had ordered high pressure valves from a US-based company for the expansion of the board's thermal power station in Nagpur. "Owing to a row over the purchase, further orders were stalled and an agreement was signed with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd for supply of valves,'' the official said.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Suryachaktra Power arm to set up solar power unit

The Hindu Business Line :
Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, January 9, 2009
MUMBAI - Suryachakra Power Corporation Ltd has informed BSE that Sri Panchajanya Power Pvt. Ltd is one of subsidiary companies of the company is already in setting up of 10 MW biomass power project at MIDC, Hingoli, Maharashtra.

In addition to this, Sri Panchajanya Power Pvt. Ltd has signed power purchase agreement with Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd on January 7 for setting up of 5 MW concentrated solar thermal power project at Hingoli, Maharashtra and t he company has already submitted required papers with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for registration to get generating subsidiary.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Coal Ash Spill Reveals Risks, Lapses in Waste Regulation

Jan 08 - McClatchy Washington Bureau

The coal ash spill in Tennessee last month is putting a spotlight on whether the ash from 450 other power plants around the country could be contaminating the nation's drinking water supplies.

Some coal ash is recycled into products such as cement or placed in secure landfills, but much of it ends up in gravel pits, abandoned mines and unlined landfills - or in ponds like the one that burst in Kingston, Tenn., on Dec. 22. In the Tennessee incident, 5.4 million cubic yards of sludge laced with arsenic and other toxic materials poured over 300 acres - making it one of the nation's worst environmental spills.

The EPA in 2000 decided that coal ash wasn't hazardous waste and left regulation up to the states. Now, however, environmental activists say the Tennessee spill shows the need for federal standards for how coal waste is handled at the coal-fired power plants around the nation.

"It's an insanely dangerous scenario that's been allowed to develop, but it's all under the radar screen," said Jeffrey Stant of the Environmental Integrity Project, a group formed by former EPA enforcement attorneys that's compiling data on coal ash disposal sites.

Stant said most states have lax regulations and that much of the monitoring is done on a voluntary basis by the utilities that own the plants that burn the coal.

He and other activists want the EPA to start with banning the common practice of sluicing coal waste into ponds and storing it there.

"When you put it along a river in an unlined lagoon, you threaten to contaminate the shallow alluvial aquifer that's right under the river," which provides drinking water, Stant said. He said he had no faith in the scientific evidence produced by the utility companies.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says tests show Kingston's drinking water is safe.

"We're not doing anything different than other utilities that have coal plants," said TVA spokesman Gil Francis. About half of the TVA coal waste is put in wet ponds like the one at Kingston, and the rest is compacted in dry ponds. TVA inspects the ponds annually, the state checks them quarterly, and TVA employees look at them daily, he said.

TVA, a corporation owned by the federal government, operates the plant at Kingston where spill occurred. The Kingston Fossil Plant was the largest coal-burning power plant in the world when it began operating in 1955. The plant normally consumes about 14,000 tons of coal a day.

TVA is the largest U.S. public power company, providing electricity to 9 million people in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Virginia. It produces 60 percent of that electricity from coal at 11 plants completed mostly in the 1950s. The newest came online in the mid-1960s.

The House Committee on Natural Resources this week started considering whether to propose a law that would impose federal regulations on coal ash waste stored in ponds such as the one in Tennessee, said committee chief of staff Jim Zoia.

Steve Smith of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said that states have tended to defer to utility companies to take care of the waste, and the EPA has depended on industry to fill out voluntary surveys.

"It's clearly been neglected for the past eight or nine years but it's a problem that's only going to get worse as we do a better job of controlling air pollution," he said. "As you clean coal up, you can't just make the dirty stuff disappear. It's got to go somewhere."

Smith said he wants "some federal leadership to properly characterize this problem and get aggressive in setting up regulatory standards that people have some confidence in."

EPA spokeswoman Tisha Petteway said the American Coal Ash Association, which is made up of coal-fired power utilities and others that produce coal combustion waste, is the source of information about how much coal ash is generated in the country each year. EPA also measures toxic releases from individual plants.

Petteway said the latest data, an EPA and Energy Department survey from 1993, estimated there are about 300 surface ponds at electric power plants like the one in Tennessee.

"The majority of states" require controls on the site, liners in landfills and groundwater monitoring, Petteway said. The effectiveness of the protection, however, depends on whether states use the authority they have, she said in a written response to questions.

States are regulating coal ash more as new plants are added, she said.

Jim Roewer of the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group, a lobby group devoted to keeping the non-hazardous status of coal combustion waste, said he expects the Tennessee spill will be used in a new discussion of what national standards might be imposed, but his group believes they're not needed because state regulation works.

"Utilities are working to manage the ash responsibly," he said.

Roewer said there are about 600 coal ash disposal sites - about 45 percent of them surface ponds, and the rest landfills.

Lisa Evans, an attorney with Earthjustice, a law firm, said it's easier to say which state does a good job of regulation - Wisconsin - than to list the many who handle it poorly.

Nationally, coal combustion waste is estimated at more than 129 million tons a year, she said. The problem, she said, is that because of a lack of federal oversight, "we don't know where it goes."


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