NHPC’s decision to foray into other forms of power generation including thermal power generation is gaining momentum and the company is planning to set up three thermal power plants – one in Chhattisgarh and two in Bihar. NHPC had amended its Memorandum of Association last year which enabled it to undertake thermal power generation. If all the plans of NHPC materialize, the company will have nearly 4000 MW thermal power generation capacity in next few years.
NHPC will replace Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited in 2×660 MW Salka thermal power project in Surajpur District, Chhattisgarh. NHPC recently signed an MoU with the Chhattisgarh State Power Holding Company Limited (CSPHCL) and Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO Limited) for development of super critical thermal power project at Salka. NHPC will acquire the entire 74% stake of IFFCO in IFFCO Chhattisgarh Power Limited (ICPL). However, the agreement will be subject to the approval of CCEA.
NHPC has also shown keen interest developing 2×660 MW Thermal Power Project at Kajra, Lakhisarai District and 2×660 MW Pirpainti Thermal Power Project, Bhagalpur District, both in Bihar, through Joint Venture route with Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB). However, before signing an MoU with BSEB, NHPC is seeking the approval of Ministry of Power. Both these projects are exempted from tariff based competitive bidding rule as BSEB ((presently Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited-BSPHCL) has already signed PPA for the projects. Further, coal blocks have already been allocated for these projects.