RPG Group company CESC Ltd has decided to double the earlier planned capacity of its Balagarh thermal power plant in West Bengal from 660 mw to 1,320 mw.
The Balagarh project in the Hooghly district, which is targeted to be commissioned by 2016, would be set up at an investment of Rs6,800 crore, making it the single biggest investment in a power project by the Sanjeev Goenka-controlled CESC, according to a recent communiquè to investors by the company.
CESC is in the process of setting up projects in Orissa, Jharkhand and Maharashtra apart from West Bengal, where all its existing plants are located.
CESC plans to set up a similar sized thermal power plant, of 1320 mw, at Dhenkanal in Orissa, but it would cost Rs6,500 crore.
With this disclosure on the Balagarh project, CESC’s planned investment in thermal power projects of 4,440 mw capacity to be commissioned by 2016 now stands at Rs22,700 crore, the report said.
By 2016 CESC would also be commissioning 600 mw each at Chandrapur in Maharastra, Haldia in West Bengal and Dumka in Jharkhand apart from 1,320 mw at Dhenkanal. By 2018, CESC’s 1,000 mw capacity at Pirpainty in Bihar, 1,320 mw in Orissa under second phase and additional 300 mw in Haldia would be executed.
Conceived in 1994, the Balagarh project, planned to generate 500 mw, got shelved in 2001 despite getting funding approval from Asian Development Bank because of what was described by the company as a hostile environment consisting of factors like low upward revision in power tariffs and various objections raised by the state government against the nature of the project.
Sanjeev Goenka in 2010 said CESC was reviving the project with an investment of Rs3,200 crore for 660 mw capacity.
It is in possession of about 800 acres of land since 1998 for the project.
CESC has already received the terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment report but is awaiting final approval.