Essar Power announced the completion of the Rs 80-billion capex programme for its 2x600 MW Mahan power plant project with the commissioning of the plant’s second 600 MW unit. Both units of the project are operational and supported by an end-to-end raw material sourcing and evacuation infrastructure. The second unit is supplied by Harbin Electric and is designed to perform at optimum efficiency with domestic coal from pithead mines in the region. The project will provide direct employment to about 250 people, and indirect employment to around 1,250 more, thus spurring ancillary development in the area.
The Gajra Behra siding can handle, at its peak, up to three rakes per day, which will meet the coal requirements of the Mahan plant substantially. Being just 18 km away from the facility, it will reduce the transportation distance by about 90 per cent, as well as help curb pollution. It will enable the plant to obtain domestic coal from Coal India mines, as well as from NCL, besides being able to receive imported coal by being connected to both the east and west coasts of the country.
The 400 kV transmission line commissioned a fortnight ago is part of the Inter State Transmission System of Power Grid. It has enhanced the transmission capacity of the region by 1,800 MW. “In the last one year, we have commissioned more than 1,500 MW of operational capacity and 465 km of transmission lines. Our focus has been on sweating our investment and meeting the growing demand for power in the nation, emerging as a significant player in the sector,” said Pradeep Mittal, Executive Vice Chairman, Essar Power.
“The cancellation of the coal mine assigned to us severely affected the Mahan project. Though it led to project delays and cost overruns, we doubled our equity investment to Rs 33 billion to ensure the project is completed. This demonstrates our policy to follow through on our investment commitments and develop world-class assets despite all odds,” said Prashant Ruia, Director-Essar.
“With the completion of the capex cycle at Mahan, we now have 3,830 MW of generation capacity, with another 1,260 MW under construction, and a presence in the high-margin transmission sector,” he further stated. Essar has invested more than Rs 300 billion in the power portfolio, which includes Rs 100 billion of equity, and are now among India’s largest private power producers.