Himachal seeks gas-based power plant

Shimla, March 1 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh has asked the centre for a gas-based thermal power plant to meet its increassed demand during winter, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said Tuesday.

‘The state has requested the government of India to consider setting up of a 500 MW thermal power plant in the state,’ Dhumal informed the state assembly.

‘Since the state is dependent upon hydel power, it has a power deficit in winter when water flow drops and electricity demand increases,’ he said.

A thermal power unit could assist in meeting the demand. ‘The central government is yet to respond to the state’s proposal,’ Dhumal said.

The chief minister said the government was setting up a coal-based thermal power plant as a joint-venture in West Bengal. The power generated there would be transmitted to the state through national power grid.

‘The West Bengal plant would be commissioned in 2014-15,’ Dhumal said.

For starting this thermal plant, a memorandum of understanding was signed in 2007 between state-run public sector undertaking Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited and Kolkata-based Eastern Mineral and Trading Agency.

Himachal Pradesh has abundant water resources with a power generation potential of about 23,560 MW. About 6,673 MW have been harnessed till now by the central and state governments, private players and joint venture companies.

In 2011-12, the state government proposes to add more than 600 MW generation capacity with the commissioning of Allain Duhangan, Karcham Wangtoo, Malana II, Budhil, Chamera III and some other small projects.

At present, 13 hydropower projects are coming up in the state. They have a combined generation capacity of 5,809.1 MW.