Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Sunday, Sep 08, 2002
Industry & Economy - Power
Vindhyachal: Power centre
CALL it the power-centre of the country, if you please. The Vindhyachal region, about 250 km from Varanasi on the Madhya Pradesh border, accounts for more than 10 per cent of the total generation capacity in India.
The power generated here lights up States as far apart as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and even Jammu and Kashmir.
The remote Vindhyachal region hosts three super-thermal projects of National Thermal Power Corporation here within a radius of 40 km.
The oldest of them, Singrauli, is also the flagship project of NTPC where the first unit was commissioned in 1982.
Today, it is a 2,000-MW project generating power at just 90 paise per unit and supplying to the Northern grid.
A couple of kilometres away is the Vindhyachal project where the first 210 MW unit was commissioned in 1987.
Today, it is the largest project of NTPC with a total capacity of 2,260 MW supplying power to the Western grid.
The Central Electricity Authority has recently given techno-economic clearance for adding a further 1,000 MW here.
About 40 km away, across the dam, is the Rihand project, named after the dam, with a capacity of 1,000 MW.
Work is apace to add a further 1,000 MW here by 2005. This station is among the major sources of power for Delhi.
All these pithead projects are fired by coal from the nearby opencast mines of Northern Coalfields Ltd. which also supplies coal to the other major projects of Uttar Pradesh Electricity Board in the region, apart from the 554 MW captive plant of Hindalco.
With reserves estimated to last for another 100 years and more, the Vindhyachal belt is set to maintain its premier status as a major source of power for the country.
R. S. recently in Vindhyachal
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