New Delhi: The ministry of power has finally managed to jump-start two so-called ultra-mega power projects, or UMPP, one each in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, after a meeting on Monday with representatives of five states.
Central power ministry officials met power ministers of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, states where UMPPs have stalled for reasons ranging from environmental concerns to differences with state governments.
Way to go: Reliance Power Ltd’s Sasan UMPP project site in Madhya Pradesh, which was awarded after a controversy
The government defines a UMPP as a power plant with an installed capacity of 4,000MW. Such a project would typically require an investment of Rs16,000 crore at current prices.
“While we had called the meetings of the state chief ministers, they had deputed their power ministers to attend. While one UMPP will come up at Cheyuur in Tamil Nadu, another will come up at Munge in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra,” said a government official who did not wish to be named. “The request for qualification applications for these two projects will be issued by March next year and the complete award process for the projects is expected to be completed within one year.”
The Marakkanam project site in Tamil Nadu was finally rejected.
Mint has previously reported on several problems associated with UMPPs. Of the 10 proposed UMPPs, only four are on track.
Projects at Mundra in Gujarat, Sasan in Madhya Pradesh and Krishnapattnam in Andhra Pradesh have been awarded, and the contract for the Tilaiya UMPP in Jharkhand is to be awarded shortly.
Those in Cuddalore and Marakkanam in Tamil Nadu, Jharsuguda in Orissa, Girye in Maharashtra, Tadri in Karnataka and Akaltara in Chhattisgarh have been facing problems.
With the Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance government running out of time on using the UMPPs to rapidly add to the country’s power generation capacity, the power ministry is scrambling to try and get the projects off the block.
“The remaining projects in Orissa and Chhattisgarh still have some issues related to water availability and needs to be sorted out,” the official said. “Karnataka has suggested some new sites and a team from the Central Electricity Authority will be visiting the state for site selection.”