DVC likely to get nod to acquire coal mines abroad

July 8th, 2008 - 1:00 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 7 (IANS) The central government Monday said it would consider West Bengal’s proposal to allow power producer Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) to acquire coal mines abroad. “It is an extremely interesting proposal. We will examine the feasibility of the proposal. We perhaps can look into countries like Indonesia, Australia, Namibia and Myanmar for such acquisitions,” central Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh said.

Ramesh was here to inaugurate the temporary research and development (R&D) centre of DVC in Salt Lake, the IT hub of the city. He also laid the foundation stone for the permanent R&D centre in Rajarhat.

Earlier state Power Minister Mrinal Banerjee said: “DVC can take the initiative for acquiring mines abroad where the West Bengal government can join them as junior partner. DVC will become second largest power generation company in the country by the end of 11th Five-Year Plan period.”

Ramesh said: “At present, DVC has a capacity to generate 2,400 MW power. By the end of 11th Plan (2012), it can produce 11,000 MW and by the end of 12th Plan, that is, by 2017, it would have a capacity of 17,000 MW.”

The R&D work would be carried out by DVC in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. The permanent building of the R&D centre in Rajarhat would be constructed on four acres for an investment of Rs.1.20 billion. It would take four to five years to be completed.

Ramesh suggested that the R&D centre should work on specialised fields. “We should be building up specialised facilities,” he added.

He rued the fact that India still sends transformers and switchgears to Holland for testing.

Ramesh suggested research should be carried out in all fields - generation, transmission and distribution.

He stressed on standarisation of power plants because lack of it is the crux of the technological problems.

In a meeting with Banerjee Sunday, Ramesh instructed the state power minister to give Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) the contract for setting up two new units of 500 MW each at the Durgapur Projects and Bakreswar Thermal Power Plant.

He added: “The country may face serious coal storage in the coming days, which is estimated to be around 40-45 million tonne by the end of 11th Plan.”

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