Tamil Nadu wants more power from upcoming Tuticorin plant

Chennai, June 22 (Indtiop.com) Energy-starved Tamil Nadu wants a higher share of power that will be generated by the joint venture it has set up with mining and power company Neyveli Lignite Corp (NLC).

A similar demand had earlier been raised by Gujarat, where NLC proposes to set up a 1,000 MW plant at Valia, also in joint venture with that state’s power board.

However, this project is yet to take off as the Gujarat government wants the entire power generated for itself.

In Tamil Nadu, the Rs.3,354-crore NLC is setting up a 1,000 MW coal-based power project in Tuticorin in collaboration with the state electricity board, which will own 11 percent stake in the joint venture.

According to NLC officials not wanting to be quoted, Tamil Nadu has asked for 75 percent (750 MW) of the power generated from the Tuticorin project as against its entitlement of 55 percent (550 MW).

However, a recent policy note submitted by Tamil Nadu’s energy department said the state expected to receive 494 MW from the Tuticorin project that is being built by the joint venture company, Neyveli Tamilnadu Power.

Unlike Gujarat, the new demand for enhanced power has not hindered the project’s progress; the letter of approval has been issued for the main plant package, and tendering activities for other equipment are in advanced stages.

In Gujarat, the proposed project is no where near taking off. “The centre has turned down the request (for all the power) from the Gujarat government,” NLC chairman and managing director A.R. Ansari told IANS.

NLC will hold 74 percent in the Rs.5,100-crore project.

The pact between NLC and Gujarat government was signed three years ago to mine 12 million tonnes of lignite per annum and set up a 1,500 MW power project in two phases.

The first phase proposes to mine eight million tonnes of lignite and build a 1,000 MW power plant.

In Rajasthan, where NLC is setting up a 250 MW power project, the entire output will be supplied to the state grid.