President to inaugurate ONGC's Tripura power project on Friday
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee will on Friday inaugurate Rs 3,429-crore power project of state- owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp's (ONGC) in Tripura.
The first unit of the 726.6 MW gas-based power plant has started generating electricity and will be formally dedicated to the nation at a ceremony at Palatana, Tripura on June 21, official sources said.
While the first 363 MW unit was synchronised on October 2012, the second unit is expected to commence operation in August.
The Rs 3,429 crore project has been built by ONGC through a special purpose vehicle, ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC). ONGC holds 50 percent stake in the company while Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Service Ltd (IL&FS) has 26 percent. Government of Tripura has 0.5 percent equity while the balance is yet to be tied-up.
Sources said ONGC has built the project to monetise natural gas reserves it has discovered in Tripura. These reserves are yet to be commercially developed due to low industrial demand in the North-Eastern region.
The complexities of logistics and attendant costs limit the economic viability of transportation of gas to other parts of the country where gas is in deficit.
Power generated at the plant will be evacuated through a 400 kV Transmission system connecting Palatana (generation project site) in Tripura to Bongaigaon in Assam over a distance of around 650 kms.
Power plant together with the transmission line and gas field development cost about Rs 10,000 crore.
The power project, whose foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in October 2005, will help solve the power crisis of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura.
Sources said the project was a hallmark of cooperation between India and Bangladesh, which ensured smooth passage of heavy project equipment and turbines to Palatana through its territory by road and waterways, from Haldia port in West Bengal.