NTPC Photo: Wikipedia
In a bid to speed up replacement of old units of state owned power producer NTPC, the Power Ministry is pursuing the Environment Ministry to consider automatic approval.
"We have asked the environment minister that no new environment approval should be needed by these plants. As these would be as per the environment norms, they should get automatic approval. They will look into the suggestion and take decision," said Piyush Goyal, minister of state for coal, power, mines and new & renewable energy.
He said this would help speed up the investment approval for these units. The minister said the NTPC has already done informal board consultation and received in-principle approval for replacing around 11,000 MW of power plants which are older than 25 years.
"As land, water supply and other infrastructure is available, the cost should be approximately Rs 50,000 crore. The rate of interest is low and will be lower post demonetisation," said Goyal.
Business Standard had earlier reported that NTPC, is planning to build new units at existing plant sites and phase out the old ones. The first two identified plants are at Talcher and Badarpur, two of the oldest NTPC units. JV Industrial Companies, an American firm, is studying the Talcher plant.
NTPC had also sent a team to Japan, Europe and the US to study available technology and the retrofitting that can be done. The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) estimates 10,180 MW of supercritical units can be installed in place of retired plants or those proposed for retirement with a total capacity of 5,228 MW.