The Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) is planning capacity addition to the tune of 1,320 MW at the Ib thermal power station. While OPGC is currently generating 420 MW of power from the Ib TPS, it is planning a capacity addition of 2×660 MW through Phase-II of the project. The Ministry of Coal has allocated the Manoharpur and the dip side of Manoharpur coal blocks to meet the fuel requirement for the proposed project. A dedicated railway line for transporting coal from the captive coal blocks to the upcoming power project is also being executed. The power project is likely to be commissioned towards the end of FY 2016-17.

However, delayed clearances and pending approvals may put spoke in OPGC’s wheel. While the Odisha government had forwarded the proposal for mining lease for the Manoharpur coal block to the coal ministry in December, 2012, the ministry is yet to act on the proposal. Further, Stage-II Forest Clearance (FC) of the Manoharpur coal block is yet to be granted by the MoEF even though the Forest Advisory Committee had recommended approving FC Stage-II in May, 2014. OPGC is presently requesting the Ministry of Coal to approve the proposal for providing interim coal linkage from the Basundhara group of mines to the expansion project.

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