Govt. seeks alternate coal block for OTPCL

Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/ Edited by Swetaparna Mohanty

Bhubaneswar, Sep 5

As the award of Tentuloi coal block to Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (OTPCL) has failed to come to the rescue of the state PSU for its proposed 2400 MW end-use power plant proposed at Kamakhyanagar in Dhenkanal district, the state government has sought an alternative coal block from the coal ministry.

Tentuloi  coal block, recently allocated to OTPCL for its 2400 MW end-use power plant despite of having coal reserves of 1,234 million tonne has not proved to be either viable or cost effective because coal extraction from the underground block is bound to push the cost of power generation by 25%.

According to the energy department sources, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to the Coal ministry pitching for a suitable coal block for OTPCL citing cost factor as a serious problem with the Tentuloi block and suggesting that the ministry can consider the award of any of the five de-allocated coal blocks in Odisha to OTPCL.

Though the government had sought Chandrabila coal block for OTPCL, the Ministry of Coal allocated it to NTPC and awarded the Tentuloi block to OTPCL.

The Coal ministry had de-allocated New Patrapara, Baitarani West, Utkal-D, Mandakini-B and Naini blocks in view of their unsatisfactory performance. Of these Utkal-D and Mandakini-B were allocated to Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) while Baitarani West was awarded to Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) jointly with PSUs of other states. The rest two blocks were allocated to private firms.

The 2400 MW project of OTPCL proposed at Kamakhyanagar at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore, needs 1969.78 acres of land which includes 987.77 acres of government land and 83.94 acres of forest land in addition to 982.015 acres of private land.

OTPCL is a 50:50 joint venture between Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC).

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