Lanco plans gas-based power plant in K'taka

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 04:40 hrs

Lanco Infratech Ltd, the Gurgaon-based infrastructure company, is setting up a combined 720 Mw combined cycle gas-based power plant for an investment of Rs 2,500 crore at Humnabad in Bidar district. This project is part of the company’s greenfield expansion in the power sector in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

"The high powered committee headed by chief minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa has cleared our project. We have also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Karnataka government for this project along with another project in the solar photovoltaic space," Kishore Alva, vice president, corporate affairs, Udupi Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL), a subsidiary of Lanco Infratech told Business Standard.

He said the company has been allotted 50 acres at Humnabad for the gas project. The gas required for the project will be drawn from the Reliance gas pipeline. The project will have two units of 360 Mw each.

Lanco is already an investor in the thermal power sector in Karnataka. Its subsidiary, UPCL, is in the process of completing its 1,200 Mw thermal power project near Udupi in coastal Karnataka. While, the first unit of 600 Mw is completed, the second unit of 600 Mw is expected to be completed by the end of October this year. In addition to this, the company has also announced its second plant of 1,320 Mw at Udupi.

Alva said the company is also planning a foray into solar photovoltaic space with a 250 Mw project in three places for an investment of Rs 2,884 crore. The company has identified Gulbarga, Bellary and Raichur districts for locating its three solar PV projects. Lanco Infratech has signed a MoU with the state government recently for implementing these projects.

Once these projects are implemented Lanco’s total capacity would go up to 3,490 Mw. Lanco is also gearing up for medium to large scale initiatives in the hydro sector in the regions of Nepal and Arunachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the Udupi Power Corporation Limited is presently waiting for the establishment of a 400 Kva line by Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (KPTCL) to evacuate power from Udupi.

"Right now we are able to supply only up to 500 Mw from our first unit at Nandikur as there is only a 220 Kva line is available to evacuate power. Unless the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation puts in place the 400 Kva line we can not evacuate 1,200 Mw power," Alva said.

According to sources in the state energy department, the work on the 400 kva line is delayed due to various reasons. The work, which was scheduled to be completed in April this year, is likely to be delayed by another 6 months or so. Whether the government completes the work or not, it will be forced to pay UPCL the tariff as agreed in the power purchase agreement.

"As scheduled earlier, UPCL will complete the 1,200 Mw project by end of October. If the 400 Kva line is not available, it is not our problem. The state government has to pay us the tariff as per PPA even if they are unable to take the power due to absence of 400 kva line," Alva said.

UPCL has already invested Rs 5,689 crore to set up its thermal power plant at Nandikur, about 35 kms from Mangalore in coastal Karnataka.

As against the required 400 kva line, as agreed in the PPA with the company, the KPTCL has set up only a 200 kva power line at Kemmar near Karkala in Dakshina Kannada district. This is capable of evacuating only up to 500 Mw of power from the plant to the main national grid at Hassan.

The path of way has also not established to erect poles and towers to transmit the power through the forest area in Western Ghats. The state government is still to get the clearance from the ministry of environment and forests, he said.