After months of uncertainty, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has finally given its nod for a mega power project in Tripura.
"The ONGC board has approved the gas production project for Rs.18.17 billion along with infrastructure costs of Rs.38.44 billion," said RK Marya, ONGC's Tripura asset general manager.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the 750 MW gas-based power project at village Palatana, 60 km south of state capital Agartala, in October.
However, the project was bogged down by delays in clearances from the ONGC board and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
"The board has also approved the construction of five gas collecting stations and drilling of additional exploratory and development wells," Marya added.
ONGC has also decided to raise production from the current level of 1.45 million cubic metres (MCM) gas a day to 4.5 MCM.
The Palatana plant is scheduled for commissioning by 2010. "This project will enable ONGC to harness its gas potential through the gas-to-wire concept, catalysing significant development in the region," Marya told reporters.
The joint venture between the Tripura government, the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services and ONGC also involves laying of a 225 km pipeline to transport gas to Palatana and laying of 640-km transmission lines to connect the national power grid line at Bongaigaon in southern Assam.