China’s Shandong Electric Power Corporation (Sepco) on Tuesday handed over first unit of Balco’s Rs 5,000-crore 1,200 MW power plant to the aluminium producer. Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco), part of the billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Group, said work will start on the remaining three units of the power plant shortly. Vedanta holds 51 percent stake in Balco, while the remaining is with the government of India.
“The first unit of the 12,00 MW power plant established by Balco has been handed over by Sepco to the Balco management for operation,” Balco said in a statement. Balco’s head for 1,200 MW operations Pankaj Sharma said Sepco had started the Reliability Run Test (RRT) on July 3, 2015 and the plant was run with average load continuously till July 16 and no abnormality was noticed in its running.
Due to smooth running and achievement of all the set operational parameters over a fortnight, Sepco handed over the unit to Balco management for operation, he added. As a result of the commencement of the first unit of the 1,200 MW power project, Balco’s dependence on external sources for power would stop, Sharma said. He added that work will start shortly for the remaining three units. After full requirement of coal is met and on attaining the set standards of operation, all the units of the power plant would become fully operational in 6 months.
“Vedanta Group, of which Balco is a part, has invested nearly Rs 5,000 crore in the power project. Balco had received the ‘Consent to Operate’ on January 15, 2015 from the Chhattishgarh government,” the statement said. Every individual unit of the project has a capacity of 300 MW. As a result of the new 1,200 MW Power Project, Balco will be able to enhance its aluminium production capacity from 3.50 lakh tonnes per annum at present to 5.70 lakh tonnes per annum, it added. Once the new smelters are operational, nearly 25 percent of India’s aluminium will be produced in Chhattisgarh.
Balco already has a 270 MW and a 540 MW power plant. Once the plant and the smelters are fully operational, the state government will receive nearly Rs 250 crore as revenue every year.