Anpara 'C' thermal project still not clear of controversy

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Lucknow, Sep 27 (UNI) The 1,000 Megawatt Coal based Anpara 'C' thermal power project, being hit by controversies even before its inception since early 1990s, is again in focus with the Uttar Pradesh government's permission to hike the generation capacity under question.

The project was awarded last year to Hyderabad-based private power company Lanco Kondapalli which had outbid Reliance Energy and the Essar Group.

Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has questioned the proposal of State Power Generation Corporation to suddenly increase the power capacity by 20 per cent. The UPERC has also asked the Coproration to specify the legal provisions in this regard specially since it had already submitted that in 2005 that the increase in the capacity would require fresh clearance from the Ministry of Environment and others which would lead to delay.

Interestingly, it was Lanco which had opposed any move to increase the capacity of Anpara 'C' thermal project when two other bidders Reliance Energy and Essar had proposed for permission for flexibility in the capacity.

The Government Order (GO) issued on August 20 said that the Lanco will have to obtain the statutory approvals from the State ERC. The Lanco has also been directed to obtain the financial and technical approvals from the power regulator as per the revised project specification from 2X500 to 2X600.

The GO further said that the time frame for completion of the project would not be extended and no additional land would be given for the project by the government.

It was in pursuance of the decision of UP cabinet in July last which had allowed the private investors to increase the capacity by 20 per cent.

The land for the thermal project has been transferred to the Lanco Anpara Power Ltd, a subsidiary floated by the Lanco for the particular project. As per the roadmap for the Anpara C approved by the Power regulator, Lanco has to complete the financial closure for the project by November next. Failing which the Lanco faces the threat of losing the project.

Official sources admitted that obtaining the regulatory approval for increase in capacity from 1,000 MW to 1,200 would be tedious and if not resolved in next two months then the Lanco stands to loose the project.

Highly placed sources in UP power department told UNI that the matter was between ERC and Lanco and the Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam did not come into picture. They, however, conceded that the enhancement in capacity would further delay the project for want of clearances.

According to power experts, it seems the price of the project is becoming unfeasible for the company for a power project of 1000 MW capacity and the company wanted the project of 1200 MW instead.


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