NTPC committed to go ahead with Bengal project

July 18th, 2011 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 18 (IANS) National Thermal Power Corp Ltd. (NTPC) is committed to go ahead with the Katwa mega thermal project in West Bengal for which land is yet to be acquired following resistance from locals, an official said Monday.

The state government earlier handed over the 1,600 MW Katwa project in Burdwan district to NTPC after withdrawing it from West Bengal Power Development Corp Ltd. (WBPDCL).

The WBPDCL had acquired 387 acres out of the 1,035 acres needed for the project. The land takeover for the project was delayed because of resistance from people facing displacement.

“The project will take place. The balance land has to be acquired. Definitely we are committed to the project. Whatever way the government wants, we agree to do in that way,” NTPC chairman Arup Roy Chowdhury told reporters on the sidelines of a programme organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI) here.

Roy Chowdhury said for setting up a 1,600 MW plant, a minimum of 1,000 acres of land will be needed.

“Earlier we required one acre land for generating one MW of power, now we have improved this to 0.7 acre of land per MW. In our design, the Katwa project needs a minimum 1,000 acres of land,” he said.

Roy Chowdhury said the power utility was now importing 10 percent of its total coal requirement.

“We are importing 12 million tonnes through STC (State Trading Corporation), and four million tonnes on our own,” he said.

He said the NTPC has advanced in the race to give final offer for a stake in Australian coal miner Bandanna Energy Ltd.

“We have quite advanced in Bandanna mine bid in Australia. On July 29, we have to give a firm bid for equity stake,” he said.

The NTPC chief said the company has already submitted a detailed project report (DPR) for setting up a power project in Khulna in Bangladesh.

“We are going to set up a power project in Khulna in Bangladesh. We have already made a DPR. We submitted the DPR in March. There will be supercritical units with imported coal. The Bangladesh government is tying up for coal linkages. Once we know the coal strategy they have done, then only we can say about the final cost (of the project),” he said.

“Probably a joint venture will be signed very soon. It will be a 50:50 joint-venture with Bangladesh Power Development Corporation,” he said.

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