Agartala: The industry-starved north-eastern region of India would be a power surplus area by June, when ONGC`s 726 MW power project starts full capacity generation, a top official said here Thursday.
The 726 MW capacity combined cycle gas-based thermal power project (using both water and natural gas) at Palatana, 60 km from Agartala, in southern Tripura is the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation`s (ONGC) first commercial power project in India.
"The generation from the first unit (363.3 MW capacity) of the power plant began Dec 31, 2013, and the generation from the second unit (363.3 MW capacity) would start in June," ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) managing director Sudhindra Kumar Dube said.
"However, there are some problems of transmission of electricity in the region. We expect these problems would be overcome," he told reporters.
According to the official, the current peak-hour demand of electricity in the seven northeastern states is 2,200 to 2,300 MW. Now, the shortage of power is around 100 MW.
"After the generation of the second unit of the Palatana power plant, the northeastern states would be able to supply its surplus power to other parts of the country through the national grid," Dube, a renowned power engineer, said.
The Palatana power project was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee June 21. After that, the power plant faced some technical hurdles, but started full generation of electricity from the first unit Dec 31.
OTPC is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) promoted by ONGC, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL & FS) and Tripura government, created in 2004 for execution of the 726.6 MW combined cycle gas-based thermal power project.
Dube said that from this power plant, Assam will get the maximum share of 240 MW of electricity, followed by Tripura (196 MW), Meghalaya (79 MW), Manipur (42 MW), Nagaland (27 MW), Mizoram (22 MW) and Arunachal Pradesh (22 MW), while IL & FS and OTPC keep 98 MW.
"OTPC has signed a gas sale and purchase agreement with ONGC for supplying 2.65 million metric standard cubic meters gas per day. The agreement would be valid for 15 years against the assumed power plant`s life span of 25 years, with a provision of further extension by another 10 years," he said.
To set up the Rs.4,047 crore power plant, a total of Rs.10,000 crore is being invested for the project and related works including transmission lines and setting up of ONGC gas pipelines.
"A 400KV high transmission power line (661 km) has been drawn up to Silchar in southern Assam from Palatana to connect with the Bongaigaon national grid in western Assam to distribute electricity to various northeastern states," the OTPC chief said.
The Palatana project is 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.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone of the power project in October 2005.