Patna, Oct 14 (UNI) In a major step towards achieving self-sufficiency in power generation, the Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the public sector NTPC Limited here tonight for setting up a 1980 MW(3X660) coal-based power plant at Nabinagar in Aurangabad district of south Bihar.
The first phase of 660 mw of power in the proposed plant was scheduled to be commissioned in 2013 under a 50:50 joint venture agreement between the two, said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who was present at the signing of the MoU.
While NTPC Chairman and Managing Director T Sankaralingam signed the agreement on behalf of the public sector giant, BSEB Chairman Swanpan Mukherjee did so for the state Electricity Board.
Among others, Bihar Power Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, state Chief Secretary A K Chaudhary and senior NTPC officials were present.
Later speaking to newspersons, Mr Sankaralingam said the total cost of the mega project had been pegged at Rs 9500 crore which would be equally shared by NTPC and the state government through equity partnership.
''While 30 per cent of our share would come from internal acruals, the rest would be borrowed from different financial institutions and if needed from the public too'', the NTPC CMD informed replying to a query.
Speaking about his dream to bring about a total change in the overall power scenario in the state, the Chief Minister said at present the peak hour generation was to the tune of only about 950 mw against the peak hour demand of 1500 mw.
''This has forced us to seek supply of about 300 mw of electricity from grids outside the state on daily basis creating a piquant situation'',the Chief Minister regretted and hoped that by the end of the current five year plan(11th plan) period,the total power generation within the state would be up by another 3,000 mw.
''This will be possible not only because of the establishment of the new Nabinagar plant of 1980 mw, but also following the commissioning, expanding and modernising several other units spread across the state,'' Mr Kumar said and hoped that when completed it would completely change the overall image of the state to outsiders.
Further elaborating the government plan, the Chief minister flanked by the NTPC chief, said the first phase of 'Kanti power station' in Muzaffarpur district would be ready for commissioning by next month so that commercial production could start immediately afterwads.
The boiler for the 250mw plant had already been tested at the site, Mr Sankarilingam informed.
Regarding the proposed expansion of the Barauni thermal power plant in Begusarai, the Chief Minister said with NTPC's assistance for modernisation and expansion, another about 500 mw of power was expected from the Barauni plant within the next three years.
To another query, the Chief Minister informed that power generation, rural electrification and road construction were the three main focussed areas of the state government. There would be no dearth of funds for early implementation of these projects, he emphasised.