The BJP-Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura coalition government in Tripura has initiated a dialogue for the purchase of 26 per cent equity in the ONGC Tripura Power Company-run Palatana gas thermal power project from IL&FS. The state government earlier had a 0.5 per cent share in the project.
Speaking to reporters, state Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said that the 726.6 MW (megawatt) ONGC Tripura Power Company-run Palatana power project is “very profitable”. The gas-based power project was formally started in 2014 as a joint venture of ONGC, IDFC, IL&FS and Government of Tripura.
The Power Ministry allocated over 58 per cent power from Palatana project to the Northeast states. Among these, Assam was allocated 240 MW, Tripura got 196 MW, Meghalaya 79 MW, Manipur 42 MW, Nagaland was granted 27 MW, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram were allocated 22 MW each. ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) reserved 98 MW for merchant sales. Out of Tripura’s share in the project’s output, the state government is selling 160 MW on a daily basis to neighbouring Bangladesh.
Nath said that the erstwhile Left Front government could have picked up equity in the power project and taken its advantage to turn Tripura self-reliant in power generation. “I don’t know why they did not do so. But we were informed by the central government few days back about reports that IL&FS is likely to offload their share. So, we have decided to try to acquire all of it if possible,” he said.
IL&FS had purchased 26 per cent equity shares at Rs 291.20 crore. The minister claimed that the value of the shares is expected to appreciate in future. A negotiation team comprising officials from departments of industries and commerce, finance and power would be formed to start negotiation for acquiring the equity shares.