The tariff pledged by Adani Power Maharashtra Limited (APML) for supplying power from its proposed thermal power plant at Tiroda in Gondia district of Vidarbha, to Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), is the most competitive among all other agreements executed by MSEDCL with private sector companies in the last two years.
In fact, at Rs. 2.64 per unit, the tariff for power from the Tiroda plant is lower than even the generation cost of the upcoming projects of Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco), claims Sanjeev Dokey of Adani Group. The APML has made a commitment to MSEDCL to supply 1,320-MW of power for 25 years, at the same tariff. Thus, the purchase cost will remain steady over a prolonged period of time for the state power utility, which will keep the average cost in check, and ultimately benefit the consumer, Dokey pointed out.
However, the Adani Group is struggling for a virgin coal block in Lohara of Chandrapur district, adjoining the famous Tadoba Tiger reserves to cater the power plant. The nature-lover and conservationalists in the region are up in arms against the coal mining as they feel that it would badly affect the tiger reserve that is the home for around 45 tigers.
According to Dokey, various clearances needed from the power project, including those from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, defence aviation and civil aviation (for chimney), and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) have been obtained. The South East Central Railway (SECR) has given clearance for constructing a private siding for the plant, from the Kachewani railway station near Tiroda, he said.
The first unit of 660-MW at Tiroda is expected to go on steam within the next two years, in 2011-12. The plant consists of 2 units of 660-MW each, which will be commissioned in the first stage of the project. The installed capacity will be expanded by another 3 units of 660-MW in future.
The coal linkage for 1180-MW has been granted by the South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL). In addition, the company plans to operate its own captive coal mines, for which the Central government has allocated the Lohara (West) and Lohara (Extension) blocks in Chandrapur district.
The coal ministry has also allotted two other coal blocks near the Tadoba tiger project. In view of peoples’ protests, Rajesh Gopal, the member secretary of National Tiger Conservation Authority visited Chandrapur on Wednesday and discussed the issue with the representatives of various agencies.
He said that the authority would submit a report to the government on the issue and the final decision would be made by the government soon.
Reacting on it, Dokey said that the company was committed to undertake all the necessary steps to protect the wildlife of the nearby national park by providing manpower and financial assistance. Besides, the company has assured the people of Lohara village that they would be given employment in the proposed mine, subject to eligibility and suitability, besides other facilities, as the village needs to be relocated.