The Center has set end-December as the new deadline for commencement of the first 660 MW unit of the belated 1,980 MW supercritical thermal plant under construction at Ghatampur, Kanpur.
People aware of the development said coal secretary Amrit Lal Meena on Friday held a high-level meeting in Delhi to review the progress of the upcoming plant and directed concerned officials to expedite the plant that was already operational. with a lot of delay.
“The company setting up the plant at Ghatampur was asked to speed things up to ensure the first unit is operational as soon as possible. The agencies involved in the construction of the plant were also given new targets,” UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) chairman Ashish Kumar Goel, who was at the meeting, said over phone from Delhi.
Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Ltd (NUPPL), a joint venture of Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India Ltd, a Government of India undertaking, and Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd, a UP Government undertaking, is establishing Power Plant with a capacity of 1,980 MW, consisting of three units of 660 MW each at Ghatampur in Kanpur with a shareholding of 51:49.
“Following the review of the plant’s progress at the coal secretary’s meeting on Friday, we were asked to commission the plant with the first unit by December-end,” NUPPL CEO CS Santosh said. “But our internal goal is to commission the first unit by the end of November,” he added.
According to him, 75% of the power to be produced by this supercritical plant will go to UP, while the remaining 25% will be sold to the state of Assam as per an agreement.
The Central Government sanctioned this project in July 2016 after the land for the same was identified in 2015. The first unit of the plant was scheduled to be ready for commercial operation in 52 months from the date of sanction, the second in 58 months and the third in 64 months.
However, the project has been delayed for a number of reasons that are causing concern among stakeholders. The Center constantly reviews the progress of the project and issues instructions for an early start of the project. Coal Minister Prahalad Joshi himself visited the plant and reviewed its progress in February this year.
Insiders said that the company awarded the contract to carry out the civil and mechanical works at the plant had gone bankrupt and this, they added, significantly hampered the plant’s progress, ruining an entire year.
“It is true that the execution work faced some financial problems, but those problems have been resolved and the work is in full swing,” Santosh said. “In fact, Covid-19 and farmers’ protests also caused a delay in the project,” he added.