The UPA government’s recent proposal to develop a 4,000-MW thermal power plant in Telangana appears to be as much about appeasing and luring voters in the region as it is about addressing the power shortage in the newly-created state. The announcement to set up the mega power project comes a day before the model code of conduct comes into effect and a month before the nine-phase general elections starting April 7. NTPC, the largest power utility in India, will develop the project.
Whatever the reasons for the announcement at this juncture, the Telangana power project is one of several new power projects that NTPC is developing in the coming years. The power utility recently announced plans to develop 2,640-MW and 1,600-MW projects in Madhya Pradesh, and a 1,320-MW project in Bihar. Besides, NTPC is also developing new power projects at Tanda, Uttar Pradesh (1,320 MW), Darlipalli, Odisha (1,600 MW) and North Karanpura, Jharkhand (1,980). Most of these projects would be commissioned during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2017-2022).
The current installed power capacity of NTPC is 42,500 MW that includes capacity addition of 10,000 MW in just last three years. At present, 19,500 MW worth of projects are under execution. The utility plans to add at least 14,000 MW to its total capacity by the end of 2016-17, the terminal year of the 12th Plan. With the planned capacity addition, NTPC aims to become a 1,28,000 MW power utility by 2032.
Among the states, Madhya Pradesh will play a major role in meeting NTPC’s installed capacity target, accounting for nearly 5,000 MW capacity.
As noted above, On March 2, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State of Power (Independent Charge), laid the foundation stone for NTPC’s 2,640-MW supercritical thermal power project in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. The plant will be located at Barethi in Chattarpur district of the state. It will comprise four units of 660 MW each. The total land requirement for the project is 2,841 acres. Coal will sourced from Banai coal block and water from the proposed Majhgaon Dam and Shyamari Project. About 50 per cent of the power generated from this plant will go to Madhya Pradesh. The project, which is estimated to cost Rs 18,000 crore, is envisaged to be commissioned during the 13th Plan period.
Madhya Pradesh Energy Minister Rajendra Shukla said that his government was taking up all energy-related projects “proactively” and in line with the future power requirements of the state. “It is a matter of pride to have a professional company like NTPC contributing to the growth of Madhya Pradesh,” he said.
Apart from the 2,640-MW project at Barethi, the other power projects consist of the 1,600-MW Gadarwara supercritical thermal power project in Narsingpur district, and a 500-MW expansion project currently under construction at Vindhyachal.
At present, NTPC meets about 24 per cent of the total power requirement of Madhya Pradesh, allocated from various power stations including India’s largest power station—the 4,260-MW Vindhyachal super thermal power plant in Singrauli district.
Elsewhere, NTPC will take up the development of its project in Telangana only after it secures coal linkages, most likely with central government-owned Singareni Coalfields among other sources. At present, NTPC has a 2,600-MW super thermal power plant at Ramagundam in Karimnagar district, now in Telangana.
NTPC’s total installed capacity of 42,500 MW comes from 17 coal based, seven gas based, three solar renewable and seven joint venture power stations, accounting for about 19 per cent of India’s installed capacity and contributing 28 per cent of the country’s electricity.