NTPC to build 4,000 MW thermal plant in Andhra

Visakhapatnam, Jan 11 (IANS) State-run power generator NTPC plans to set up a 4,000 MW plant at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh as well as a 2,250 MW solar power plant in the state, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.

“The progress of Andhra Pradesh is evident from the fact that this newly formed state could overcome a huge power crisis and become a power surplus state today,” Goyal said, making the announcement here at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s annual partnership summit.

He also said the central government will work closely with the Andhra Pradesh government to handle security issues and counter terrorism.

“The world needs to come together to develop policies and securities to counter terrorism,” he said.

Later speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, the minister said the government will be releasing in the next couple of months bids for 3-4 ultra mega power projects (UMPP) that are in the 4,000 MW class.

Goyal also said he was hopeful of rolling out a coal linkage policy for the power sector within three months.

Meanwhile, an Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham)-CRISIL joint study said on Monday that about 46,000 MW of power projects are at high risk, owing to lack of “strong sponsor company support”.

“Banks and financial institutions (FIs) have together lent about Rs.75,000 crore as on March 15, 2015, and these projects are not expected to turn viable in the long run. It is rather apprehended that accretion of non-performing assets (NPAs) from these accounts could be high in the medium term,” Assocham said.

Of these projects at high risk, nearly 36,000 MW are coal-based and about 10,000 MW are gas-based. Loans to these projects are pegged at around Rs.2.1 lakh crore, of which about two-thirds are lent by public sector banks, according to the white paper on infrastructure financing.

“There is a glimmer of hope for India’s power sector if one were to go by the list of states (15) that have agreed to participate in the UDAY (Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana) package announced by the central government for the struggling state owned distribution companies,” Assocham said in a statement.

“The study believes that the scheme has the potential to wipe out losses of discoms in Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by fiscal 2018,” it added.

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