Nitish Seeks Montek's Help to Fast Track Power Projects
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Seeking to fast track the execution of various power projects in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has urged Planning Commission to facilitate early coal linkage/coal blocks in the state.

In a letter to the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia yesterday, Kumar drew his attention towards coal requirement for the eight proposed thermal power plants in Bihar and called for his intervention.

The letter has come in the wake of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's speech during the National Development Council (NDC) meeting in New Delhi on December 27 where the latter had asked the states to write to the plan panel regarding pending coal linkages for thermal power projects.

The chief minister also apprised Ahluwalia of state government's efforts to effect capacity addition in the existing thermal power stations and to develop green field projects to meet increasing power requirement in the state.

The Chief Minister has asked for issuance of Letter of Assurance (LOA) for tapering coal linkage from Urma Pahari Tola cola block being developed under a Joint Venture (JV) by Bihar and Jharkhand for 2x250 MW Barauni thermal power expansion project with annual coal requirement at 2.65 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).

Kumar also informed the plan panel deputy chairman that the ministry of coal has already accorded 'in principal' approval for tapering coal linkage for the Barauni thermal power power expansion project and the prospecting licence for Urma Pahari Tola coal block has been obtained on August eight, 2012 and the selection of MDO was under finalization.

Kumar also drew attention of Ahluwalia about coal requirement of 1.5 MTPA for the proposed additional 250 MW at Barauni thermal power project with assistance from the JICA and for 1.3 MTPA each for existing 110 MW thermal power units at Barauni and Muzaffarpur after Renovation and Modernization (R & M) by the BHEL.

In additional three case-II bidding projects are being developed at Chausa, Kajra and Pirpainti in Bihar with generation capacity of 1320 MW each for which there will be coal requirement for 6.25 MTPA at each plants, he said, adding that another 11.25 MTPA coal is required for an additional 3x660 MW Stage-II power plant at Nabinagar with 50:50 JV between the Bihar State Power Holding Company Ltd and NTPC.

Another coal block of adequate capacity and reserve will also be requierd for the Ultra Mega Power Project in Bihar for which a site has been identified in Banka district, he said in the letter to the plan panel deputy chairman.
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