Agartala, Aug 26 (IANS) Tripura's power scenario is expected to get a major boost with the setting up of three gas-based thermal plants that are expected to turn around the state's economy.
'Three major thermal power projects totalling about 1,041 MW are now in the pipeline. Once power generation commences from these plants, Tripura will not only be self-sufficient, but could supply surplus power to other states,' Tripura Power Minister Manik Dey said.
The major project is the 750 MW gas-based thermal power project at Palatana in south Tripura expected to be commissioned by 2009. The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has been assigned for the Rs.40 billion-Palatana project. 'After commissioning of the 750 MW project, there would be provision to increase the generation capacity to 1,100 MW,' ONGC corporate communications manager Sanjeev Sharma said.
This would be the ONGC's first major commercial power project in the country.
'There are proposals to supply power to West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana through the national grid transmission system once the Palatana project is commissioned,' the minister said.
There are two more power projects in the pipeline - a 280 MW thermal power project by the public sector North Eastern Electrical Power Corporation (NEEPCO) at Monarchak in west Tripura and a 21 MW gas-based unit at Baramura in west Tripura.
There were, however, some technical problems in commissioning the two projects with the central power ministry seeking some clarifications from the Tripura government.
The northeastern state now produces about 140 MW power with the peak-hour demand estimated at about 150 MW.
Generating power apart, the ONGC has also taken up an ambitious plan for a three-fold jump in gas production in Tripura by 2009 from 1.5 to 4.5 million metric standard cubic meters per day to meet the growing demand of natural gas.
'ONGC, which has so far drilled 120 wells in Tripura since 1972 with 48 sites yielding natural gas, has been investing a whopping Rs.1.6 billion per year against its annual earning of Rs.850 million in Tripura,' the corporation's Tripura asset general manager R.K. Marya said.