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NHPC plans thermal foray, power trading

National Hydroelectric Power Corporation is set to foray into coal-fired projects and begin inter-state trading of electricity.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 17:24 IST

National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, India's second largest power generating firm, plans to foray in coal-fired projects and begin inter-state trading of electricity as it plans to become a 10,000 MW company by 2012 from about 3,750 MW now.

The public sector company has also revived plans to set up a 500 MW project in Nepal and will take up two projects in Bhutan with a total capacity of 1,600 MW as part of its overseas expansion.

"We are looking to set up a coal-based power plant in Madhya Pradesh and have approached the state government for a coalmine, but nothing has been decided as yet," NHPC Chairman and Managing Director S K Garg told visiting reporters in Chamba.

The preliminary discussions have been initiated through Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation, a joint venture of NHPC and government of Madhya Pradesh that already has two hydel projects in the state, he said.

As part of its diversification strategy, the company would also enter the power trading business. He, however, ruled out plans to start electricity distribution or gas-based generation plants.

NHPC's thermal plans follows the hydro foray by NTPC Ltd, formerly called National Thermal Power Corp.

State-run NTPC is the country's largest generating company with a total capacity of more than 25,000 MW and has already started construction on various hydel projects in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

Elaborating on NHPC's overseas projects, he said with political situation in Nepal stabilising, the company has revived plans to set up the 500 Mw Upper Karnali project.

In Bhutan, where it had earlier built the 60 MW Kuricchu project on a turnkey basis, NHPC would establish the Mangdechu and Punatsangchhu projects with a combined capacity of 1,600 MW, he added.

Garg said the company is adding about 2480 MW capacity in the 10th plan and would add about 6,300 MW capacity in the 11th plan period (2007-12) to become a 10,000 MW firm.

The PSU currently operates 10 power projects with a total capacity of 3,755 MW and is constructing another 13 projects across the country. These include the 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri project in Arunachal Pradesh, the 800 MW Parbati-II, 520 MW Parbati-III, the 231 MW Chamera-III in Himachal Pradesh and 510 MW Teesta-V project in Sikkim.

The company would be investing about Rs 60,000 crore over the next 6-7 years, he said, adding that of this about Rs 20,000 crore would come through budgetary allocation while the remaining would be raised through borrowings or internal accruals.

"The state government wants us to give the detailed project reports to the private companies, but this is not possible. Those projects should be given to us," he said.

The Arunachal Pradesh government had in February this year allocated five projects to Reliance Energy, Jaiprakash Associates and DS Constructions. NHPC contends that the state government had earlier allocated to it two of these five — the 1,000 MW Siyom and 1,600 MW Lower Siang projects.

However, NHPC would shortly sign an MoU with the Arunachal Pradesh government to set up a 3,000 MW Dibang project in a joint venture with the state, he added.