Meghalaya PSU keen on 1320 MW pithead plant

Business Standard reported that Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation is keen to set up a 1,320 MW pithead power plant in the vicinity of the Mandakini-B coal block in Odisha.

MMDC has been awarded the coal block with reserve of 1,200 million tonne, jointly with Odisha Mining Corporation, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board and Assam Mineral Development Corporation. The Mandakini-B coal block was allocated to these companies on July 25th 2007 under Section 3 (3) (a) (i) of Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act, 1973.

The Meghalaya PSU has now sought suitable land free from all encumbrances for the power project.

Mr Jopthiaw Lyngdoh secretary (power) of Meghalaya government wrote to Ms PK Jena of Odisha energy secretary that “I am writing to request you to assist us in identifying a suitable plot of land in the pithead area of Talcher coalfields with requisite industrial water availability. The Meghalaya government will pay the requisite fee to the Odisha government in accordance with the prevailing laws and regulations.”

Stating that the power project has been accorded high priority by the Meghalaya government, Mr Lyngdoh said that a team of officials were ready to visit Odisha in this connection if considered appropriate.

It may be noted that in July 2011, the Ministry of Coal had issued a warning to the allocates for the inordinate delay in development of the Mandakini-B coal block.

The warning followed a showcase notice to these firms which were issued by the ministry on October 29th 2010. Though replies to the showcase notice were furnished by these companies, they were not considered to be convincing by the review committee of the ministry.