Odisha to seek Baitarani West coal block for OTPCL

The Odisha government would soon write to Coal Ministry, pressing for allocation of Baitarani West coal block in favour of its PSU Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (OTPCL).

OTPCL is a 50:50 joint venture between two state run entities- Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC).

Initially, the sate government had demanded allotment of Chhendipada and Chhendipada II coal blocks to OTPCL.

But since these coal blocks have already been earmarked for auctions, the Coal Ministry asked the state government to seek an alternative coal block.

Last week, the state government placed its demand for coal blocks before the visiting Coal minister Piyush Goyal.

"OTPCL has earlier bagged the Tentuloi coal block. But being an underground block, it is tough to mine and would not cater to OTPCL's requirement. Hence, we are going to move the Coal ministry for allocation of Baitarani West coal block", a senior official at energy department said.

Being an underground coal reserve, Tentuloi block is very difficult to mine. Most of the reserve is below 900 metre depth. Even with the use of best technologies, only two million tonne of coal can be extracted from this mine annually while OTPCL's requirement for the power project is 16 million tonne per annum (mtpa).

OTPCL is setting up a 2,400 Mw coal-fired power plant at an estimated cost of Rs 17,000 crore. The power station has been proposed at Kamakhyanagar in Dhekanal district. The project needs 1,767.90 acres of land, including 1,074.95 acres of private land, 684.25 acres government land and 8.7 acres forest land.

The power purchase agreement (PPA) for sale of entire power to be generated by the OTPCL power station has been executed with Gridco, the state owned power trading firm.

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