Friday, April 13, 2012

Gujarat offers 500 hectare of land in Junagadh for second UMPP

Gujarat offers 500 hectare of land in Junagadh for second UMPP
Economictime By Mitul Thakker

The government of Gujarat has identified and agreed to allocate 500 hectare of land for second 4,000 mw ultra mega power project (UMPP) in the state. After exploring Jamnagar and Kutch districts in past couple of years, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) zeroed in on Lodhva village in Junagadh district, better known for Asiatic lions and Geer forest.

On Thursday, a four-member team including CEA chief engineer MS Puri and representatives from Power Finance Corporation and a consulting firm held meeting with government of Gujarat officials in Gandhinagar.

Early this year, Tata Power already commissioned its first imported coal fired 800 mw unit of its UMPP at Mundra. Proposed project in Junagadh district will be the second UMPP in the state. Junagadh UMPP too will be based on imported coal. Contracts for UMPP at Sasan, Tilaiyya and Krishnapatnam have been awarded to Anil Ambani led Reliance Power. However, Reliance Power is yet to progress as per the original plans.

"Only Gujarat has been able to facilitate UMPP commissioning successfully in entire India. And CEA wants to set up yet another UMPP in a bid to achieve its 12 th Five Year Plan targets. We will take some three months before making final offer to the CEA," principal secretary for energy and petrochemicals of government of Gujarat DJ Pandian told ET. Commenting on Gujarat becoming lead buyer for yet another UMPP, Pandian said, "Gujarat has sufficient power generation capacity of 13,500 mw and we are expected to achieve 18,000 mw more in next couple of years. We will opt for becoming a lead buyer only if the tariff is attractive."

It may be mentioned here that Gujarat will avail 1,900 mw of power from Tata once Mundra UMPP becomes fully operational. Tata that was supply power for Rs 2.26 to beneficiary states is seeking escalation of Re 1 following the change in coal price regime in Indonesia. The government of Gujarat is opposing Tata' move.

A top government official with the department of energy said, "Originally, CEA wanted 648 hectare of land for the project. However, we have identified 490-500 hectare of land of which 20% is under private ownership. We have assured CEA team to assist the developers in getting right of use and right of way among other approvals." He added that the CEA has already conducted majority of the studies and it will invite bids once government of Gujarat acquires and allocates the land.

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