The State Government on Thursday approved Rs 665 crore renovation and modernisation plan for the first six units of 60 MW capacity each of Balimela hydro power project.
The decision was taken by the project approval committee of the Government headed by Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra.
“Tenders for all six units will be floated before August 15 and the renovation work completed by the end of the 12th Plan period,” Energy Secretary PK Jena told this paper.
After renovation, the plant will generate additional 150 million units of electricity and the six units will be as good as new project, he said.
Of the total investment of Rs 665 crore, Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) will raise ` 199 crore from its internal accruals while the remaining amount will be met through debt.
Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and some private banks have shown interest in financing the renovation plan. “We are evaluating all the proposals,” Jena said.
The Balimela project in Malkangiri district has an installed capacity of 510 MW. The first unit of Balimela plant was commissioned on August 14, 1973 while the sixth unit was commissioned on January 5, 1977.
The sixth and seventh units of 75 MW generating capacity each were comparatively new as they were commissioned after 2008.
In 2009, the State Government had engaged Russia-based Powercon to make a residual life assessment of the six units. Later, Mecon Ltd was roped in to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for renovation.