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OTPC facilitates a new ‘Silk Route’

ONGC Tripura Power Co (OTPC), a unit of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has signed an MoU with Dhaka to open up a new transport corridor through Bangladesh for transporting heavy equipment for its power plant at Tripura.
The MoU was signed by OPTC Director RK Madan and Azizur Rahman, Chief Engineer, Roads and Highways Dept, representing the Government of Bangladesh, a company statement.

Pursuant to this MoU, the Bangladesh authorities will for the first time allow the use of the Ashuganj port on the mighty Meghna River and the connecting road network between Ashuganj-Sultanpur-Akhaura check post (around 48 km) for transportation of project equipment to the OTPC project at Palatana, in Tripura.
“This will facilitate the transportation of two gas turbines, two steam turbines and about hundred ODC (Over Dimensional Cargo) items required for the OTPC’s ambitious 726.6-MW combined cycle gas-based power plant at Palatana, Tripura,” it said.

Transporting the items through Bangladesh will enable OTPC to advance the commissioning deadline for the project by around seven to eight months, as it will obviate the need to transport the ODC items by land through a long, challenging and complex route traversing Karimganj, Manu-Ambassa mountainous tracts and large number of river crossings in Tripura.

ONGC has 50 per cent stake in OTPC, while IL&FS has 26 per cent.
In addition, the government of Tripura has a 0.5 per cent interest in OTPC. The rest is untied equity.

While reviewing the project implementation status at an OTPC board meeting in New Delhi, ONGC Chairman RS Sharma commented: “This historic MoU will facilitate opening up of a new ‘Silk Route’ for the North-East.”

“This will immensely help in safe and timely passage of ODCs to the project site, ensuring timely commissioning of OTPC’s power plant within the XI Five-Year Plan,” he said.

Combined with the capital expenditure for drilling new wells, laying gas pipelines and establishing a downstream transmission system, implementation of this project will involve an aggregate investment in excess of Rs. 8,000 crore.
This would be the largest investment on any single scheme in the North-East, ONGC said.

Post-commissioning, the project will help in monetising the gas discoveries made by ONGC in Tripura during the last two decades, which have remained underutilised thus far due to lack of appropriate customer demand.

Implementation of this power project would enable ONGC to increase its gas output in the state from the current level of 1.7 million cubic meters a day to over 5.5 mmscmd.

The first powertrain of the project, with a generation capacity of 363.3 MW, is expected to be commissioned in the last quarter of the 2011 calendar year.

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