More activists to move appellate body against East Coast’s thermal unit

More activists to move appellate body against East Coast’s thermal unit

Hyderabad: Few more activists, opposing upcoming thermal power projects in the wet lands of Andhra Pradesh’s east coast, are going to move the National Environmental Appellate Authority, or NEAA, challenging the environmental clearance granted to East Coast Energy Pvt Ltd.

East Coast is a special purpose vehicle promoted by the Singapore-based infrastructure company Asian Genco Pte Ltd (AGPL), where Power Trading Corporation Ltd (PTC) and few private equity firms such as Morgan Stanley, General Atlantic and Goldman Sachs have committed investments.

The move of activists was prompted by the dismissal of a petition by the AP High Court on Thursday filed by Forum for Sustainable Development, represented by its advisor J. Rama Rao, against the environmental clearances to East Coast.

Rama Rao said his forum, along with the Committee on Water Bodies, will implead in the petitions now pending before the NEAA against the said 2,640MW power project coming up at Kakarapalli village in Srikakulam district.

“We hope NEAA, which has recently rejected the environmental clearances awarded to Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd’s thermal power project in Srikakulam district, will also reject the clearances wrongfully given to East Coast’s unit," said Rama Rao.

However, East Coast’s president, S. Gopalakrishnan, contested this saying his company’s case was different since it had obtained all the clearances including the consent for establishment last year itself and commenced civil works.

“We had already achieved financial closure for the 2,000 crore project and awarded the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contracts for both plant as well as balance of plant works. The civil works are at an advanced stage and we have so far incurred an expenditure of some 600 crore on the project with a plan to commence operations of first phase of 1,320MW by September 2013," said Gopalakrishnan.