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NTPC's hydro initiative gathers steam — Projects totalling 4,400 MW on the anvil

Anil Sasi

New Delhi , Sept. 29

FACED with a massive fuel crunch at its thermal stations, the Rs 26,000-crore NTPC Ltd has stepped up its hydroelectric generation initiative, with eight hydel projects totalling 4,442 MW on the anvil. Of these, three projects with a cumulative capacity of 1,920 MW, are currently under development, while the company has zeroed in on five more hydro projects totalling 2,522 MW, which are under consideration to be taken up for execution by the end of the current Plan period, NTPC officials said.

To put NTPC's hydro generation plans in perspective, the capacity addition being planned by the utility is higher than the country's largest hydroelectric power generator — National Hydroelectric Power Corporation's total installed capacity of 3,615 MW.

"We have developed a core competence in execution of thermal projects and hence, in the past, were focussing entirely on coal and gas-based projects. There is a possibility of continued coal and gas shortages in future and hence we are now trying to become an integrated energy utility with a diversified fuel mix. We are taking up projects totalling 2,000 MW and are simultaneously working on detailed project reports (DPRs) of projects adding up to 5,361MW," an NTPC official said.

Of the three hydroelectric projects under construction, the 800-MW Koldam project would be commissioned in 2008-09, while the 600-MW Loharianag Pala and 520-MW Tapovan Vishnugad projects are to be commissioned by 2010, officials said.

Announcing its transformation from a thermal utility into an integrated power generator, the company has changed its name from National Thermal Power Corporation to NTPC Ltd.

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