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Coal India ventures into power generation


RAIPUR:  In a first, the Chhattisgarh-based South Eastern Coalfield Limited (SECL), an undertaking of the state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL), has decided to venture into power production.

SECL has signed an MoU with the Madhya Pradesh Power Generation Company Limited (MPPGCL) for setting up a 660-MW unit. The project will be expedited by setting up a joint venture between SECL and the MPPGCL.

The coal-fired plant of the state-run MPPGCL will have an installed capacity of 660-MW, that will come near the existing Amarkantak Thermal Power Station at Chachai in Anuppur district of MP.
The plant will be built with modern supercritical state-of-the-art technology. Air-cooled condenser technology will be used in the power unit, which will save water for power generation, officials said.

“The project will entail an investment of Rs 4,665 crore in which the share of the SECL would be around 70%. The operational role would be carried out by the MPPGCL while the ownership will be with the SECL. The power production is likely to start in a couple of years,” officials said.

SECL is already supplying coal to the Amarkantak power station, besides the adjoining locations of Shahdol and Umaria in MP. The MoU was signed by Bhanjit Singh, Managing Director of MPPGCL, and Arupdutt Chaudhary, GM, SECL.

The decision behind the CIL’s initiative is a part of an ambitious diversification plan taken by the world’s largest coal producing company to set out beyond mining operations. In pursuit of the new endeavour, the CIL has begun venturing into clean, solar energy, thermal power projects among other innovative projects.
In April, as the nation braced for a challenge to ease the coal shortage that affected power production, the daily production and supply by SECL touched 4.50 lakh tonne — an increase by 1.25 lakh tonne.