CHENNAI: The Chennai Power Generation Limited (CPGL) has proposed setting up of a 900 MW power plant that would use eco-friendly Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) for fuel in Tiruvallur district.
The proposal, which recently received Terms of Reference (ToR) from an expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the Union Environment Ministry, has undergone several changes since its initial conceptualisation in 1997.
On July 28, the committee held a detailed deliberation meeting, minutes of which is available with Express.
While recommending the project for ToR, the committee had laid out certain conditions. The CPGL was asked to obtain recommendation of Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNSCZMA) for building intake and outfall pipelines, desalination plant and related facilities.
Officials of CPGL said that 1.48 lakh cubic metres of water would be required for the project and the same will be sourced from the Bay of Bengal after construction of an onshore sea water intake pump house and pipeline. “TNSCZMA shall categorically verify whether the main plant area is falling within the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) area or not, in accordance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plans.
Further, presence of mangroves in the proposed project area, including the pipeline corridor, shall be ascertained. Also, the CRZ maps in 1 : 5,000 scale will be submitted,” the committee noted. As several salt pans and aquaculture ponds fall within the project area, alternative livelihood plans for dependent villagers will be prepared along with budgetary provisions.
The committee also asked the company to incorporate project’s possible impact on ecology into the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report. “The impact of intake/outfall structure on marine life during construction and operation shall be studied. Mangroves along the Buckingham canal should not be disturbed. Compensatory mangrove afforestation shall also be proposed,” the committee added.
The CPGL had obtained environmental clearance in 1997 for setting up a thermal power project using naphtha as fuel, but later it sought permission to instead use imported coal as fuel. The environment ministry sought a fresh application. Subsequently, ToR was issued in 2009. However, a litigation was taken up in the Madras HC as approximately 70 acres overlapped between the project site and the North Chennai Power Company site. The company has now decided to change its proposed fuel to gas and has fine-tuned its configuration to 900 MW to avoid the land dispute with North Chennai Power Company.