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Three firms keen to set up power plants in Orissa

July 19, 2004 11:50 IST

Three companies -- Tata Power, Neyvelly Lignite Corporation and MGM of Bangalore  -- have shown interest to set up pit head thermal power plants in Orissa.

According to Orissa Minister for Energy SN Patro, Neyvelly Lignite has proposed to set up a 200 MW power plant at Banharpali while MGM, Bangalore has approached the government for setting up of a 1000 MW coal-fired power station at Jharsuguda.

However, Tata Power, which is keen to set up a power plant at Talcher, is yet to come up with the details about the size of the project.

All the proposed locations are close to the Talcher-Ib Valley coal belt.

Meanwhile, representatives of Neyvelly Lignite and MGM had formal discussions with the minister and department officials recently on their respective projects.

This apart, Patro said, the state-owned Orissa Hydro Power Corporation is also contemplating to put up a 500 MW thermal power plant near Brajrajnagar in Jharsuguda district.

Meanwhile, sources said that Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik has rejected the request of AES Corporation to hike its stake in Orissa Power Generation Corporation by two per cent.

AES Mauritius and AES India together hold 49 per cent stake in Orissa Power Generation Corporation with the rest 51 per cent vested with the state government. AES, which is in charge of day-to-day management of Orissa Power Generation Corporation, has long been lobbying to raise the holding in the company to controlling 51 per cent.

In fact, two representatives of AES Corporation (India) had met chief minister Naveen Patnaik here recently and discussed the issue. During the meeting the proposed expansion of the Ib thermal power plant of Orissa Power Generation Corporation at Banharpali was also discussed. OPGC, which now runs a 420 megawatt power plant there intends to set up two more units of 250 MW each at a cost of Rs 1700 crore (Rs 17 billion).

The AES delegation also urged the chief minister for withdrawal of cases pending against the company in different courts. AES Orissa, a subsidiary of the AES Group, is the major shareholder in power distribution company Cesco.

The state-owned Grid Corporation of Orissa has gone to the court against Cesco and Orissa Power Generation Corporation over several contentious issues.

However, Patnaik has reportedly made it clear that the government did not want to interfere in the matters, which are sub-judice.
Dillip Satapathy in Bhubaneswar