Agartala, Oct 24 (IANS) The state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) first ever 726 MW commercial power project would start generating electricity next year, officials said here Sunday.
"The first unit (363 MW) of the 726 MW power plant would start producing electricity December next year," said Sudhindra Kumar Dube, managing director of the ONGC Tripura Power Co Ltd (OTPC), a new company formed for commissioning the project.
The ONGC's biggest power project is being commissioned in Palatana, about 60 km south of here, at a cost of Rs.9,000 crore.
"The power project would fully start generating 726 MW power by March 2012," Dube, accompanied by BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited) chairman B.P. Rao, said.
The power project chief said that the Bangladesh government has agreed to allow India to use its waterways to transport the turbines and heavy machines for the power project, for which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone in October 2005.
He said that India would develop a jetty in the Ashuganj river port in Meghna river in eastern Bangladesh, 31 km from Agartala and expand the road, if necessary, across the border, to ferry the equipment for the project.
He said dispatching the heavy equipment by surface within India (through the mountainous northeastern states) is extremely difficult.
"A consortium comprising of the US-based General Electric (GE) and India's state-run BHEL has been awarded contract to supply the all-important gas turbines for the thermal power project," he added.
According to ONGC officials, the state-run Power Grid Corp of India Limited (PGCIL), OTPC and the northeastern states would set up a 660-km transmission line at the cost of Rs.1,771 crore to hook Palatana with the national grid at Bongaigaon in western Assam.
The much expected commissioning of the power project, a co-generation waste heat recovery power plant and ONGC's first major commercial project, has been delayed due to difficulties in transporting heavy turbines and machineries to south Tripura.