Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Thursday gave fresh lease of life to 9 thermal power projects proposed under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) route during the previous Mayawati regime.
These private projects totalling about 10,500 Megawatts (Mw) could not secure coal linkage from the Centre within the stipulated timeframe.
The collective investment in all these projects till fructification was pegged at Rs 50,000 crore by the previous government. Under the MoU’s terms, the state had the power to forfeit the private developers’ collective security deposit of about Rs 500 crore.
However, on the request of these developers and also considering the fragile power situation in the state with yawning demand-supply gap, the cabinet decided to offer them another chance to secure coal linkage within the maximum timeframe of 18 months.
“The different developers had requested for different timeframes for securing coal linkage and the government has decided to accede to their demands keeping in mind our objective of ramping up power generation,” UP infrastructure and industrial development commissioner (IIDC) Anil Kumar Gupta told the media here. Gupta did not hint on cost overruns in these projects now. Meanwhile, the cabinet also granted approval for change of location of three projects to facilitate water availability viz. projects proposed at Bargadh, Farrukhabad and Ghazipur have been relocated at Lalitpur, Barabanki and Mirzapur respectively.
The nine projects include (1) 1,320 Mw Bhognipur-I, (2) 1,320 Mw Bhognipur-II, (3) 1,980 Mw Lalitpur, (4) 600 Mw Murka, (5) 1,980 Mw Lalitpur (earlier Bargadh), (6) 250 Mw Barabanki (earlier Farrukhabad), (7) 250 Mw Auraiya, (8) 1,320 Mw Sandila and (9) 1,320 Mw Mirzapur (earlier Ghazipur).
Before the January 5, 2011 cut of date, MoUs were signed for 10 power projects with total capacity of 10,790 Mw. Only Bajaj Hindusthan’s MoU for cogeneration of 90 Mw each at 5 of its state sugar mills totalling 450 Mw is on steam.
He said the option to forfeit security deposit would vest with the government if the developers failed to fulfill their commitment henceforth.
Meanwhile, UP is likely to impress upon the Centre for coal linkages to the state power projects to tide over the power crisis.
UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) CMD Avnish Awasthi said the demand-supply gap yesterday had widened to 2,500 Mw with the peak hour demand hovering around 12,500 Mw and the maximum power availability remaining under 10,500 Mw.
The companies, which had signed MoUs, included Lanco Infratech, Neyveli Lignite Limited, Bajaj Hindusthan, Parekh Aluminex, Creative Thermolite and Unitech Machines.
Mayawati government had claimed UP would become energy surplus by the end of the 12 th Plan (2012-17) and envisioned total generation capacity addition of 25,000 Mw between 2012 and 2017.