Tamil Nadu on Sunday announced that a new 600 MW coal-fired electricity generation station would come up at the site of the Ennore Thermal Power Station, in North Chennai, by 2015. The high-tech power plant, to be built at a cost of Rs3,600 crore, would pave the way for the retirement of the old 450 MW ETPS, an official release quoted chief minister J Jayalalithaa as saying.
The state government said the Ennore plant was unable to generate power to its optimum level due to ageing. ''The five-unit plant was commissioned 40 years ago. Due to wear and tear, the facility is not producing power to the full capacity. Hence, the chief minister has ordered the decommissioning of the plant and building of an ultra modern thermal facility on the 90-acre plot,'' the release said.
Reports suggest the Ennore plant would continue to be in operation for some more time, until the commissioning of new power projects such as the North Chennai Thermal Power Extension Project (2x600 mw) and the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Ltd-National Thermal Power Corp joint venture at Vallur (1,500 MW).
Officials said that a detailed project report, environmental clearance, coal linkage guarantee and finalisation of bids were among the key tasks involved for setting up the new power plant. ''The old facility could be decommissioned through the same bidder for the new project,'' an official said.
The new plant will be environment-friendly and less coal-consuming. It will use more or less the same quantity of coal required for the 450-MW ETPS, but it will generate more electricity.
The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp (TANGEDCO) will now approach the union ministry of environment and forests for environmental clearance, the most crucial approval required for the project.