BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in several issues mostly relating to fuel linkage to thermal power projects and early implementation of proposed ultra mega power project in Odisha.
The Chief Minister called on the Prime Minister at his 7 Race Course Road residence in New Delhi and requested him to ensure allocation of two coal blocks to the State-owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and short term (bridge) linkage of coal to the expansion project of Ib Thermal Power Station at Banharpali in Jharsuguda district.
“I sought his (the Prime Minister’s) intervention on several matters which include bridge linkage of coal for Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC). I further requested for early initiation of bidding process for Ultra Mega Power Plant at Bhedabahal in Sundargarh district,” the Chief Minister told mediapersons after the meeting.
The Odisha Coal and Power Limited (OCPL), the joint venture company of two State Government PSUs - OPGC and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) - requires a short-term linkage of 16.68 million tonne of coal from 2017-18 to 2020-21 to meet the gap.
Though the Centre has allocated Manoharpur and Dip-side Manoharpur coal blocks to OPGC, coal production from the two blocks will start from 2019. However, the third and fourth units (660 MW each) of OPGC are expected to be ready for power generation from November, 2017 and March, 2018 respectively.
Incidentally, the Ministry of Coal on Tuesday intimated the State Government about the short-term coal linkage by Coal India Limited (CIL) to the expansion project of OPGC for a period three years from the date of allotment of coal blocks.
The Chief Minister requested the Prime Minister for allocation of an alternative coal block to Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Limited (OTPCL) in lieu of Tentuloi coal block as it is neither feasible for mining nor viable for operations as the cost of extracting coal from this deep cast mine will be prohibitively high. He suggested that the Tentuloi coal block be replaced by either Baitarani East or Karadabahal or Brahmanibill coal block.
Stating that allocation of most of the coal blocks of Odisha for power sector would affect mineral-based industries and revenue benefits of the State, Naveen made a strong plea for allocation of Patrapada and Nuagaon Teli Sahi coal blocks to OMC for commercial mining and sale of coal to non-regulated sector and to earmark at least nine coal blocks for the non-regulated sector through auction.
Expressing concern over the delay in implementation of the Ultra Mega Power Project at Bedabahal, the Chief Minister urged the Prime Minister to expedite the bidding process for the project.