It may have taken the country’s largest power producer, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), nearly 30 years to reach its present capacity of 44,600 MW, but the Maharatna company plans to triple its power generation capacity in the next 17 years. R Venkateshwaran, Regional Executive Director (South), tells Sunitha Natti how his company is going about its mission. Excerpts:
How much capacity do you plan to add?
We have plans to become a 1,28,000-MW company by 2032. Projects of 20,844 MW are already under construction. We are planning capacity addition of about 9,000 MW, including a 4,000-MW Pudimadaka project near Visakhapatnam, a 4,000-MW Telangana power project and a 1,000-MW solar power near Anantapur, in Andhra Pradesh.
How much power do the plants in south India generate?
NTPC’s installed capacity across the country stands at 44,598 MW, of which the southern region has 6,485 MW (including solar). This includes the four locations of Ramagundam, Simhadri, Kayamkulam and Vallur. The Ramagundam plant has a load factor of 89.76 per cent, and the Simhadri plant operates at 89.76 per cent.
Tell us about the upcoming plants.
We have already initiated the tender process for the Pudimadaka plant and begun work on the 1,600-MW unit at the existing Ramagundam plant. The environment impact assessment study for the Telangana project for Phase-I (2 x 800 MW) at Ramagundam is over and the public hearing is expected in May. Tendering activities have commenced for main plant packages. Similarly, for Phase-II Telangana project (3 x 800 MW), the government of Telangana is identifying land in Nalgonda district. We will finalize tenders for upcoming projects only after receiving approval from the Environment and forests ministry.
Who will be the beneficiaries?
The governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have asked us to allocate 85 per cent power from the two ultra mega power plants of 4,000-MW each. We have already apprised the Union Power Ministry of the states’ request and are awaiting a final confirmation.
How much solar power generation are you targeting?
The southern region has achieved a renewable generation of 22.7587 mu. We have a 10-MW Oskar plant in Ramagundam and 5 MW in Andaman & Nicobar. We are adding a 1,000-MW solar power project near Anantapur. For the first 250-MW, tendering activities are at an advanced stage and we are in discussion with the Andhra government on power purchase agreements.
What new initiatives have you launched recently?
The corporation has introduced a single-window system to deal with the procurement needs of all the power plants. So far, we were following a plant-wise tender process, but the new system allows vendors to bid for orders from plants across the country. For vendors, this widens their business potential. For us, the enhanced competition will result in cost savings. Currently, NTPC procures materials and items worth Rs 2,000 crore besides awarding Rs 1,600 crore of service contracts every year.