MAHARASHTRA IS likely to get its first ultra supercritical thermal power plant soon, officials in the energy department said. Two 800 MW units of thermal plants are proposed at Umred in Nagpur and the department is ready to approach the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) for approval.
A senior official told The Indian Express that the technical and economic viability study for setting up the ultra supercritical units in Umred is complete. “In the coming weeks, we will approach the MERC for approval. Once approved, we will float tenders.”
Once the plants are commissioned, some of the existing old thermal plants will be retired in line with the Centre’s resolve to phase out power plants older than 25 years and replace them with supercritical ones. While each unit of a supercritical thermal plant has a generation capacity of 660 MW, the two units coming up in Umred have a higher generation capacity.
While generation capacity is higher, such plants use lower quantities of coal. “Supercritical thermal power plants have low emission rates and cause at least eight times less pollution,” the official said. The new units will not add to the state’s existing generation capacity, as it will replace the existing capacity.
The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited has already decommissioned two units of 210 MW each at the Chandrapur power plant, one 210 MW unit at Parli plant and one 200 MW unit at Koradi power plant. In 2016, the Koradi unit was replaced by a 3,300 MW supercritical plant.
Earlier this year, the department had awarded the contract for construction of one 660 MW thermal plant at Bhusawal in Jalgaon. Currently, the plant has two units of 210 MW each and another unit of 500 MW capacity. “Once the Bhusawal supercritical plant is commissioned, we will phase out the older ones,” said the official.