Odisha seeks two coal blocks for its power plant

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has urged the Centre to allot two more coal blocks to Odisha Power Thermal Power Corporation Limited (OTPCL) for its upcoming 2,400-MW power plant in Dhenkanal district, said a senior official on Wednesday.

Energy Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said Chief Secretary G.C. Pati has recently written a letter to the union coal ministry to allocate Chhendipada and Chhendipada-II coal blocks to OTPCL, the state PSU, for the coal-based thermal power plant.

OTPCL, a joint venture between Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC), is setting up the power plant at an estimated cost of Rs.17,000 crore.

“We have every right to get the coal blocks for the projects. The land acquisition for the coal blocks is in an advanced stage,” said Mahapatra.

Earlier, state Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das urged the Centre to allot the coal mines for OTPCL to feed the thermal power project.

Power major NTPC had proposed to the state government to partner OTPCL to develop the 2,400 MW thermal power plant since the state PSU lacked the expertise to implement the project.

“NTPC wants 100 percent stake in the project and provide 85 percent of power to be generated from the plant to the state. But, it would not be viable for us,” said an official of the energy department.

The Centre has already allocated Manoharpur and dip side of Manoharpur coal blocks to Odisha Coal and Power Ltd. (OPCL).

OPCL, a 51:49 joint venture between Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) and Odisha Hydro Power Generation Corporation (OHPC), has been awarded the coal blocks.

The same blocks were owned by OPGC before the Supreme Court de-allocated them last year.

OPGC is expanding its project to 1,320 MW at Ib Valley in Jharsuguda district. OPGC runs a 420 MW (2×210) plant at the station.