A week after Maharashtra edged out Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh to bag the country’s most sought-after coal mine, the Gare Palma Sector II block in Chhattisgarh, the Devendra Fadnavis government has proposed to set up a power plant at its pithead. This will be a 2,640 MW (660 MW X 4) thermal power plant.
Fadnavis said a power generation plant at the mine’s pithead would drastically cut down transportation costs, allowing the state to generate and provide power at lower rates.
The coal block that can yield 24 million metric tonnes of coal per annum for 30 years had five other states — Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh — vying for it during the recent coal block auction.
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Reeling under power crisis and keen to cut power tariffs, the state government has been taking measures to reduce transportation and other non-generation costs. “The closest point in Maharashtra from the Chhattisgarh mine is Nagpur, which is still about 600 km away. Rather than incurring expenditure on transporting coal, the state would be better served by setting up a power plant near the mine,” said an official.
As per the Chhattisgarh government’s policy, Maharashtra would have the first purchase right on a bulk of the power produced from the plant, while the host state will get a fraction of it at variable cost. Sources confirmed a detailed proposal would soon be sent for the Chhattisgarh government’s consideration.
Govt rejects Adani proposal
The Maharashtra government has rejected a proposal submitted by private power giant Adani Power for purchase of 440 MW of power from the plant in Gondia’s Tiroda ahead of its formal delivery schedule. Maharashtra has a power purchase agreement with Adani Power for purchase of power from the plant from February 16, 2017. But Adani Power had requested for advancement of the scheduled delivery. The state power distribution firm, Mahavitaran, however, rejected it on saying “there was no requirement of additional long-term power at present”.