Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced the setting up of a new 1,000 megawatt captive power project at Adra in West Bengal while presenting the Railway Budget in Parliament on Friday.
The new power plant is in addition to the 1,000 mw Nabinagar power project — being implemented by the Railways in joint venture with NTPC. This project has got delayed due to delays in land acquisition.
While it is not clear whether the Railways will set up this new project with NTPC or go for a tie up with a private sector company, senior railway ministry officials said the move is part of bigger game plan that involves setting up of a series of captive power plants by the Railways.
The annual consumption of power by Railways is around 12-14 million units of electricity every year for which it spends close to Rs 6,000 crore every year. Power is purchased from the state electricity boards at an average cost of Rs 4.30 per unit.
“In order to reduce power cost, the Railways has decided to set up dedicated power projects for meeting its existing needs as also to cater to its forthcoming projects such as the dedicated freight corridor projects as also its new electrification plans,”the official said.
Officials said the railways was planning to reduce its dependence on the state government for uninterrupted power supply and plan to invest in setting up its own power stations to run passenger and goods trains smoothly.