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.

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