Prez to open Palatana power plant on June 21
20/5/2013 | The Times Of India

The first unit of the 363-MW combined cycle gas power plant at Palatana is all set for commercial generation from June 15.

President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the project on June 21 and dedicate it to the nation.

With successful generation of full potential power at the plant last week, ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) on Saturday announced it would be opened for commercial operations.

The project will resolve the power crises in Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura, as electricity from the Palatana power plant would be transmitted to these power-starved northeastern states. According to reports, the estimated project cost of Rs 10,000 crore has already been exhausted.

A group of ministers (GoM), led by finance minister Badal Choudhury, in a meeting reviewed the progress of the work at Palatana and expressed satisfaction. The GoM included power minister Manik Dey, industries minister Jitendra Chowdhury and tourism minister Ratan Bhowmik besides chief secretary and DGP Sanjoy Sinha.

The power minister said the OTPC has already scaled up the production to optimum level in the trial phase and from June 15 onwards, power would be generated on a commercial basis. The President is scheduled to open the project at noon on June 21.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation of the project in October 2005. Due to technical problems, commissioning of the plant was delayed by almost two years. The project was then halted for about six months when it was hit by serious technical snags during the trial run and BHEL officials had to mobilise a high-power technical team at the project site to make it re-operational.

The Palatana project is a hallmark of cooperation between India and Bangladesh, which ensured smooth passage of heavy project equipment and turbines to Palatana through its territory from Haldia port in West Bengal.

However, obtaining forest clearance for building long transmission lines, besides setting up the power sub-stations, transmission towers and lines in Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya obstructed the project completion on time.

The OTPC was floated by ONGC, the Tripura government and the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Service Limited (IL&FS), an infrastructure and financial service organisation.
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