The bidding process for four ultra mega power plants (UMPPs) would start in next three months while global players would be involved in pooling of the natural gas for supply to the gas based plants, said Mr Piyush Goyal, union power, renewable and coal minister at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi while sharing his mega plans for providing 24X7 power supply at affordable rates.
Addressing the Annual General Meeting of the ASSOCHAM, Mr Goyal said “The Centre has identified three-four UMPPs, the Cheyyur bid will probably come out for Tamil Nadu, for Odisha and Bihar too UMPPs are being planned,” said Mr Goyal while inaugurating the 95th Annual Session of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
“I hope to talk to chief minister of Bihar to see if Banka can be expedited, I believe that Jharkhand has an opportunity which we’re still developing which could be a unique UMPP; even different from the current scheme of UMPP but probably even better and bigger, so we’re working on all of these and in the next three months all these bids should come up,” said Mr Goyal.
On the recently announced and the most ambitious UDAY scheme of cleaning the balance sheets of the debt ridden state utilities, Mr Goyal said “5-6 states have already started working on the MoU and going forward I’m expecting every state in the country to sign up.”
When implemented fully, the UDAY would result in a national saving of Rs 1,80,000 crore and 24X7 power supply. Likewise, the savings on account of energy conservation efforts would be of the order of Rs 40,000 crore. This is being achieved by replacing conventional bulbs and tubes with LED devices.
The Power Minister said the coal production has been ramped up and he is committed to ensure that the Coal India achieves the target of one billion tones by 2020. In the current year alone, Coal India would ramp up production by 60 million tones.
On the renewable emphasis of the government, he said grid parity has been achieved at Rs 4.60 per unit from the sustainable source of energy. However, what is most important is that for the next 25 years, energy at this rate has been confirmed. “No other source would give you this kind of confirmed rate.”
On the natural gas based power plants, Mr Goyal said the government would be seeking involvement of the global giants in pooling of the gas in a transparent bidding manner. The policy is being worked out.
Addressing the same gathering of industry leaders, Minister of State in the PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh expressed concern over the deteriorating quality in education and lack of employability resulting in exodus of students from India to overseas universities. He said the industry has also been employing people at the top level positions which have no direct relationship with the academic background.
ASSOCHAM President Mr Rana Kapoor said, “While Mr Goyal’s commitment to boosting power generation was laudable, Dr Jitendra Singh has reminded the industry of respecting the Indian ethos and culture. He said ministers like Mr Goyal have capabilities to see that the plans and visions are realized into results.