As RPower walks out of Tilaiya project, NTPC keen to walk in
With Reliance Power walking out of the Rs 36,000 crore Tilaiya ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Jharkhand, NTPC on Wednesday said it is “more than willing to come on board”.
Anil Ambani-led RPower on Tuesday walked out of the project citing inordinate delays in land acquisition. “In Jharkhand, there is a new government and there is a total paradigm shift on land acquisition. Earlier, there were problems, even NTPC faced it. Going forward, these issues will be resolved,” NTPC CMD Arup Roy Choudhury said the sidelines of an AIMA event.
“We have already put our commitment to Patratu project in Jharkhand. We see a new Jharkhand government and new CM who is very proactive. NTPC is more than willing to come on board,” he added.
Choudhury was responding to a question if the company would invest in Jharkhand if it is offered the Tilaiya UMPP. NTPC was the second lowest bidder for this project which was bagged by RPower in 2009. NTPC’s 840 MW Patratu thermal power station is located near Patratu town in Ramgarh district in Jharkhand. It is operated by the Jharkhand State Electricity Board. “The government is already doing what it needs to do, minor tweaking. They are already doing in the UMPP policy. The states where UMPPs are now being planned are actually quite geared up to welcome UMPPs,” he said.
He further said: “The land issue will get resolved with the states coming on board. The next UMPPs that you will see coming on stream will be much more clearer for the bidder to bid in.” Earlier on Wednesday, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said the government is looking at the option of upgrading existing power plants into larger capacity UMPPs using clean technology and to offer them in plug and play mode.
RPower had, in August 2009, won rights to set up the 3,960 MW power plant at Hazaribagh in Jharkhand after bidding a levelised tariff of Rs 1.77 per unit. However, it could not start work on the project as the state government had not provided the required land even after more than five years.
The total land requirement for the project was over 17,000 acres.