IFC board approves for Tata Mundra project

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New Delhi, Apr 9: IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today said its Board has approved investment worth 450 million dollars in Coastal Gujarat Power Limited's Tata Mundra project, helping expand access to electricity in five states of western and northern India.

Of the total project cost of 4.2 billion dollars, IFC will provide 450 million dollars with a 20-year tenor, long-term financing that improves the risk profile of the project and complements the commercially available financing from local banks of around 15 years maturity. The project's 4,000-megawatt, coal-fired power plant is expected to supply affordable power to industrial and agricultural users and serve 16 million domestic consumers.

IFC Director for Infrastructure Rashad Kaldany said, ''This is an important project because we believe it will encourage other developing countries to make responsible choices, using best available technologies and applying higher environmental and social standards.'' India should be commended for requiring the use of super-critical technology for very large coal-fired power projects, he added.

The country's power shortages leave more than 400 million people without access to electricity, mainly in poor rural areas.

There are needs to expand generation capacity by 160,000 MW over the next decade, and this new project helps address this gap.

While the plant will emit 23 million tons of CO2, its use of supercritical technology will make it India's most efficient coal-fired plant.

The plant's volume of carbon emissions is expected to be 40 per cent less than the average carbon intensity of existing coal-fired plants in the country and 16 per cent less than the average of coal plants in OECD countries.

Its competitive tariff will also improve access to energy for many low-income people in the country.

IFC Director for South Asia Paolo Martelli said, ''We are pleased to support this project, which reflects World Bank Group strategy to help India's power sector increase energy access and rural connectivity, while improving transmission and distribution efficiency.'' The first of the power plant's 800-megawatt units is expected to be commissioned in mid- 2011, with the other units launching at intervals of four months each.

The plant will create 5,000 jobs during construction and 700 jobs once it is operational.


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