NEEPCO, Assam govt to set up thermal power plant

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Guwahati, Sep 15 (UNI) The North East Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) is in talks with the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) for setting up a joint venture 250 MW thermal power plant at Margherita of Upper Assam.

Addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the NE Business Summit here today, Union Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh informed that preliminary negotiations were going on and a MoU was likely to be signed by October 15.

As per the initial agreement, the Assam government would have 49 per cent stake and the NEEPCO 51 per cent stake in the coal-based thermal power plant.

''With an estimated cost of Rs five crore per MW, the cost of the project should be around Rs 1,250 crore,'' he said. He, however, did not elaborate from where ASEB would manage Rs 600 crore for the power project.

The cost of the project is on higher side because of the high sulphur content of Assam's coal as an additional Rs 125 crore has to be spent for de-sulphurisation.

The Assam government wants the entire 250 MW for the state, but the Centre, as per the guidelines, cannot give more than 200 MW.

The project completion period is ten years and it is expected to ease the power crisis of Assam to a large extent.

Meanwhile, Mr Ramesh is pressurising the Assam Government to give the lower Kopili project to NEEPCO. The NEEPCO wants the responsibility of the project while the Assam government wants to give it to a private player.

UNI MT DPM RN1617

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