Providing much-needed relief to the power sector, the Ministry of Environment and Forests on Wednesday gave the green signal to three proposed plants in Orissa, including a 4,000-MW ultra-mega power project in the state.
"We are delighted...We will immediately go for further process of the Orissa UMPP," Power Secretary P Uma Shankar said. The last date for submission of bids for the 4,000-MW ultra-mega power project at Bedabahal, in Orissa, is August 1, 2011.
"The Request for Qualification (RFQ) for the UMPP is under extension right now, there would be no further extension for inviting the bids," Shankar said.
"We would inform the developers about this development...and also that there would be enough coal for the UMPP," he added.
Read how the big and small co-exist in the power sector
The Environment Ministry on Wednesday cleared all six coal blocks linked to the three projects - the Bedabahal UMPP, NTPC and OPGC power plants.
Three coal-blocks (Meenakshi-A, Meenakshi-B and Meenakshi Dipside) have been allocated to the UMPP.
The Manoharpur and Manoharpur Dipside have been allocated to the 1320-MW power plant of Orissa Power Generation Corporation (OPGC). One coal-block (Dulanga) has been allocated to NTPC's 1,600-MW power plant.
Eight Coal India projects also get environment ministry's nod
The MoEF had put three coal blocks allotted to the project - Meenakshi, Meenakshi B and the dipside of Meenakshi - in "no-go" areas, which means mining could not take place in these zones, as it may cause damage to the environment.
This had resulted in delaying the bidding process for the project.
The government has so far allotted four UMPPs, of which three - Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand) - have been bagged by Reliance Power and one at Mundra, in Gujarat, by Tata Power.
These UMPPs are going to contribute significantly toward the government's ambitious plans of adding about 1,00,000 MW of electricity in the next Five-Year Plan (2012-17).