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Coal Ministry sets up its own power plants

The union coal ministry has now realised to tap its own resources to set up thermal power plants in different parts of the country, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2006 18:16 IST

It's better late than never! After supplying in million tonnes of black gold to the public and private sector to generate power, the union coal ministry has now realised to tap its own resources to set up thermal power plants in different parts of the country.

This late realisation, when it gets transform into action would generate huge revenue resulting in massive annual turnover for the coal ministry.

The Coal India Ltd (CIL) will enter the power generation business jointly with Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), another union undertaking of coal ministry soon. To begin with, a 2,000-MW capacity thermal power plant is to be set up at the pithead of one of the mines located in the command area of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd in Orissa.

Disclosing it on Tuesday in Nagpur, the union Coal Minister Shibu Soren said that although it would be a new line of business for the CIL, the company would gain in the long run by associating itself with the project as a promoter. The CIL-NLC combine is also planning to set up two other super thermal powerhouses in the command areas of Northern Coalfields of Madhya Pradesh-Uttar Pradesh and another in Jharkhand.

Answering a question, the minister said that the coal ministry has given a coal linkage of NTPC's proposed super thermal power plant at Mouda, near Nagpur. The Mouda project had faced a setback for want of coal linkage. The Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) that was supposed to supply coal for the project instead provided the linkage to Karnataka Power Corporation's plant at Bellary in Karnataka. The proposed power plant will now get the coal linkage from Mahanadi Coalfields limited.

Later, the Mouda power project was abandoned by the NTPC because of non-availability of coals in the region. However, the union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde from Maharashtra, revised the issue and persuaded it with the coal ministry for linkage and finally it succeeded to get it from Mahanadi.