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NTPC launches Jharkhand project annuity disbursal

State-owned power company has begun process of disbursing annuity to Jharkhand project-affected people at Pakri Barwadih

“I started giving annuity last week and the rest will get (theirs) from them (officials),” NTPC chairman and managing director Arup Roy Choudhury said after giving away cheques to the people, who gave their land for the public sector’s Jharkhand Project here, about 100 km from the state capital Ranchi.

The company proposes to start coal mining here at the earliest. Choudhury said that he would meet state government officials and keep some demands put by the locals in addition to NTPC’s Land Compensation and Annuity under its Rehabilitation and Resettlement Programme (R&R).

Stating that the national power generation company’s R&R has been approved by the Jharkhand government, he said that NTPC has agreed whatever the state sought with regard to R&R.

But one should understand, he said, adding that if the state gave more for the NTPC project, then it has to agree for other projects as well. “Secondly, 50% of the electricity has to be purchased by the state. The more increase in cost, more the electricity rate,” he said, adding that it would affect consumers tariff-wise.

On the people’s demand for jobs along with the compensation package, Choudhury said that qualified persons of the locality would get preference in employment and the power company would help train skilled hands. Among several benefits under its Rehabilitation and Resettlement Programme, NTPC is giving `15 lakh per acre to the project affected people.

Meanwhile power generator NTPC Ltd’s plan to spend around `9,600 crore to revive its old power plants might help revive the ailing power equipment sector as well.

NTPC plans to improve the falling plant load factors (PLFs) of seven power plants that are more than 25 years old. “We already have approvals for three of the power plants and will get them for some more,” said A K Jha, director-technical.

This is part of the plan to extend the life of three coal-based and four gas-based power plants. The total capacity of these plants is around 5,000 Megawatts. The company had helped some non-NTPC power plants increase their PLFs. In one case, a power plant with around 19% PLF was revived to take its capacity to around 90%, Jha said. He added around 70% of the intended budget will go into equipment ordering.

These orders will help the power equipment sector, which has been waiting for orders for a long time. “The Chinese competition has ebbed after a duty of 21% has been levied. But Indian power companies have not been ordering,” claimed Amit Patil, a capital goods analyst at Angel Broking.

Many Indian companies have set up domestic facilities for boilers, turbines and generators in the last five years. While equipment capacity came up over the last few years, there have been instances of payment delays and cancellation of orders that were already placed. The country’s largest player, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, is also expanding capacity.

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