President to open ONGCA’s first power plant in Tripura

Agartala, May 13 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the ONGC’s first commercial power project in Tripura next month, an official said here Monday.

“The president would likely inaugurate the thermal power project at Palatana (in southern Tripura) on June 21,” a Tripura government official told IANS.

“During his two-day (June 21-22) visit, the president would address the convocations of the Tripura University and National Institute of Technology, Agartala,” the official said.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) 726 MW gas-based power plant at Palatana, 60 km south of here, has begun generating electricity on a trial basis from its first 363 MW unit since Oct 22 last year.

The second 363 MW unit would likely start operations by August this year.

To set up the Rs.10,000-crore power plant, including transmission lines, ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) was floated by ONGC, the Tripura government and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Service Limited (IL&FS), an infrastructure and financial service organisation.

“Due to some technical hiccups, commissioning of the giant power plant was delayed by almost one year,” the official added.

The official said that getting forest clearance from the union forest and environment ministry and building long transmission lines, besides setting up the power sub-stations, transmission towers and lines in Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya, are all gigantic tasks.

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 by road and waterways, from Haldia port in West Bengal.

The gas-based power project will resolve the power crisis of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura, as the electricity from the Palatana power plant would be transmitted to these power-starved northeastern states.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone of the power project in October 2005.

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