The Adani Group had got the extension for setting up 540 Mw power plant in Chhattisgarh’s Sarguja region till 2019-20.
The 4x135 Mw thermal power project would be based on the coal washery rejects and would come up within the Parsa East and Kete Basan coal blocks, which had been originally allotted to Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (RRVUNL). Adani Mines had been assigned the work of Mining, Development and Operation (MDO) of coal block.
As per the Environment Clearance (EC) guidelines, the company was supposed to commission the power plant by April 2015 — within two years of starting the coal production in April 2013. Citing delays due to legal interventions, the RRVUNL requested for amendment in the EC that was finally considered.
"The linked 4x135 Mw FBC (Fluidized Bed Combustion) based power plant shall be commissioned in 6-7 years,” the EC amended notification said. Until the plant is established, the coal rejects shall be sold to users of coal rejects for which an agreement shall be entered into; facilitating the company to sold coal in open market for another 6-7 years.
The plant would require 4 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of coal per annum to run at a load factor (PLF) of around 75 per cent. Besides the estimated 2.25 MTPA of coal rejects, the company planned to procure remaining coal through linkage.
The company did not respond to a mail sent for its version for the delay in taking up the power project proposed in the mining area itself and allegation of green activists that the delay was to sell the coal rejects in open market for another couple of years.
The EC had also been modified the deadline for establishing railway siding for transporting coal from the pit head coal washery to Ambikapur by rail line. The notification asked to complete the work within 72 months (of starting production) that would now allow company to transport clean coal and middling by road to Ambikapur railway siding, about 78 km.
"Granting extension for another more than three years to transport coal by road from the 10 MTPA mines was serious challenge to the environment and road safety,” Alok Shukla of the Hasdeo Bachao Andolan, which is campaigning in the area for environment causes, said.
Shukla said the EC was modified in December 2015 but was not put on public domain till recently. "We were planning to challenge the order in the National Green Tribunal but the three months time period lapsed as the notification was uploaded recently,” he added.
The company did not respond to the e-mail sent for its version on the issue.