PM dedicates Palatana power plant in S Tripura

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Palatana (Tripura), Dec 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday dedicated to the nation the second unit (363 MW) of a 726 MW power plant that will supply power to Bangladesh and seven northeastern states.

The state–owned ONGC, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) and the Tripura government jointly floated ONGC Tripura Power Co Ltd (OTPC) to set up the Rs.9,000–crore Palatana power plant in southern Tripura, some 60 km south of Agartala.

“The gas–based thermal project would resolve the power crisis of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura states,” OTPC’s outgoing chairman Sudhindra Kumar Dube told IANS.

Dube said 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). IL&FS and OTPC will keep 98 MW.

“The Indian government has announced it would supply 100 MW of power from the power plant to Bangladesh.” Officials and engineers of state–owned Power Grid Corp of India Ltd, Central Electricity Authority, Tripura State Electricity Corp Ltd, Power Grid Co of Bangladesh (PGCB) and Bangladesh Power Development Board held a series of meetings to finalise the technicalities to supply the power to Bangladesh.

“To take power from Tripura, a 24–km new transmission line would be erected on the Indian side and a 27–km one in Bangladesh,” PGCB Executive Director Chowdhury Alamgir Hossain told IANS. “Initially, the Indian government would bear the cost of erecting transmission lines but subsequently the expenditure would be reimbursed by the PGCB,” Hossain said.

The Palatana project is an example of cooperation between India and Bangladesh, which ensured the smooth passage of heavy project equipment and turbines to the site through its territory by road and waterways from Haldia port in West Bengal. “A consortium comprising the US–based General Electric (GE) and India’s state–run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has supplied gas turbines for the project,” said Dube.

The 726 MW capacity Palatana combined cycle power project is the first commercial power project of ONGC, which found huge gas reserves in Tripura. The first unit (363 MW) was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on June 21 last year. The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone for the power plant in October 2005.

Those present at the inaugural ceremony included, besides Narendra Modi, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, Governor P.B. Acharya, the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s energy affairs advisor Tawfiq–e–Elahi Chowdhury, Bangladesh Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, India’s Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Tripura Power Minister Manik Dey.

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