Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said that NTPC should not spend any more on renovation of plants which are older than 25 years. “The replacement of NTPC plants older than 25 years to cost Rs 4 crore/MW. NTPC should be allowed to sell surplus power to exchanges,” the minister told BTVi. Recently, NTPC decided to shut down old polluting power plants of capacity totalling roughly 11 GW and replace those with new ones which are highly efficient.
“NTPC has already decided to close down roughly 11,000 MW of old thermal plants which are polluting and causing distress in the local areas also and not good for the country. “We are planning to replace these with new power plants which are highly efficient…super critical technology power plants,” Goyal said. He also said there was international ban on thermal plants. “We are still dependent on thermal power and will continue to depend for some more years to come until new technologies come in,” the Minister said.
Regarding hydro power projects, Goyal said there were issues like land acquisition, forest and environment clearances, local agitations and dispute between states on water sharing. Citing an example of Lakhwar multi-purpose project, he said it is a matter of “grave concern” that despite all approvals, states concerned are yet to agree on sharing the benefits. He said Supreme Court has stopped 24 projects in Uttarakhand from development in Ganga-Bhagirathi basin.
“In such a situation, new investment in the sector is very difficult to attract till all the old issues are resolved as investors are also wary” about their investments, the Minister said and added “We are very keen that hydro projects should be promoted”. He also said that a generating company intending to set up hydro generating station is required to obtain concurrence of Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for schemes involving capital expenditure of Rs 1,000 crore and above. Read More…