Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Nov 05, 2004
Industry & Economy
DVC asked to change location of proposed plant
Pratim Ranjan Bose
Kolkata , Nov. 4
THE Central Pollution Control Board has thrown a spanner into the wheels of the Damodar Valley Corporation's (DVC) plans to set up a 1000-mega watt (MW) thermal power plant at Durgapur.
In a recent communication, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has asked the corporation to choose an alternative location, as the thermal power plant may add to the already polluted environment of the chosen locality.
DVC had proposed to set up a 2 X 500-MW thermal power plant near Andal in Durgapur. This was in addition to the corporation's existing generation facility located at neighbouring Waria. The proposed project is part of the DVC's capacity expansion plan in the Eleventh Plan period and is the only one to be finalised so far.
Accordingly, the corporation had identified land earmarked for industrial activity, which is currently leased to the Steel Authority of India Ltd . The State Government had also initiated action for land acquisition.
Informed sources in DVC said that MoEF had identified a high degree of pollution generated by the existing industries in areas adjoining Andal.
The fear is that the pollution could climb to unbearable levels, if a thermal power plant is set up in the vicinity. The proximity of the proposed thermal power plant to the already polluted Damodar river is also a cause for concern.
To set up gas-based power unit
DVC will set up a small gas-based power generation unit on the Bengal-Jharkhand border at Maithon as a test case.
Looking for gas-based generation possibilities, the company has already been negotiating with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) and GAIL (India) for supply of coal-bed methane (CBM) and natural gas respectively. GAIL had announced its plan to lay the Jagdishpur-Kolkata pipeline by 2006. ONGC has proposed the production of CBM at the Ranigunj-Jharia coal belt in Bengal and Jharkhand.
Sources in DVC said the corporation currently has a small 3 X 27.5-MW capacity plant near the hydel generation unit at Maithon.
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