Katwa Super Thermal Power Project (NTPC)

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Katwa Super Thermal Power Project (NTPC) is a proposed 1600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station by NTPC for West Bengal, India.

Location

The plant is proposed for Katwa, Burdwan district, in West Bengal. The map below shows the location of Katwa but not the exact location of the project.

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Background

The project was initially proposed by the West Bengal Power Development Corporation but opposition from landowners left the agency with only 556 acres of the 1030 acres of land need for the plant. In 2008 the project was handed over to NTPC. While NTPC signed a memorandum of understanding for power purchase with the West Bengal government in 2010 it has not yet taken control of the land bought under the previous government. The current government has stated that land purchases are a matter for the companies proposing power stations not the government. In February 2012 NTPC stated that they were still hopeful that they could buy the remainder of the land needed for the project.[1]

Citizen opposition

The project, which has encountered opposition from landowners, is currently stalled due to difficulties in buying land for the plant.[1] It was reported in May 2009 that, "Local people first became aware of land acquisition in Katwa through an advertisement ... [in] 2005. The advertisement stated that 1,625 acres of land would be acquired from 16 mouzas in Katwa. This led to the formation of the Krishijami Krishak O Khet Majoor Bachao Committee (KKKMB, or Save Agricultural Land Cultivators and Agricultural Workers Committee) where not just people who would lose land but also landless labourers and sharecroppers joined forces.[2] 

Project Resumes But Still Faces Barriers

In February 2014, after three years on hold due to land acquisition problems, the board of NTPC approved the project after the West Bengal government allocated 96 acres for the proposed plant and local residents agreed to add 150 acre to the land pool.[3]

However, government officials in West Bengal identified three remaining obstacles: (1) loopholes in the government’s proposal to allocate a coal block for the project; (2) environmental inadequacy of the 706 acres allocated to the plant, such as lack of sufficient storage space for coal ash; and (3) an unpaid debt by NTPC to the state power utility of Rs 182 crore. One official said the plant would now be completed no sooner than 2019, and most likely later.[4]

NTPC received a terms of reference for the project in December 2014.[5]

Public hearings were held in June 2015.[6]

In April 2017, the West Bengal government accused NTPC of putting the Katwa project on hold, demanding an explanation for the transfer of key officials to other projects. A spokesperson for NTPC said, "These are routine transfers," asserting that the project was delayed for want of coal linkages. The official added that the project will "move at its own pace." According to the report, coal for the plant will come from the Docha-Pachami coal block, which was allocated to multiple states and had an estimated reserve of two billion tonnes. However, extracting coal from the tract would not be easy due to local geology and settlements. According to an unnamed former NTPC official, West Bengal has enough power for now and political relations between Delhi and West Bengal have soured, putting a damper on investments in the state.[7]

In July 2018 it was reported that NTPC may not go ahead with the construction of the upcoming 1,980-MW Nabinagar Super Thermal Power Project and 1,600-MW Katwa Super Thermal Power Project (NTPC) in Bihar and West Bengal, respectively, until it receives “re-confirmation” from the beneficiary states that they still require power from these projects. Power purchase agreements (PPAs) were signed with West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Sikkim and Jharkhand in 2010. The development came after Odisha’s energy minister Susanta Singh recently requested Union power minister RK Singh to cancel PPAs between the state and NTPC for the two power plants, along with the 1,320-MW Pirpainti Thermal Power Station, on the back of surplus generation capacity in the state.[8]

Project Details

Sponsor: NTPC
Location: Churpuni, Srikhanda, Debkundu, Katwa, Kasigram, Khaner hat, Nanagar, Baghtona ,jajigram, Bandra, Begunkota and Sankhai villages, Burdwan district, West Bengal
Coordinates: 23.65, 88.13 (approximate)
Status: Shelved
Capacity: 1600 MW (2 x 800 MW)
Type: Supercritical[9]
Projected in service: 2019 or later[4]
Coal Type: Domestic
Coal Source: The project will receive excess coal from West Bengal Power Development Corporation until the allotted Deocha Achine block in Birbhum starts production.[3]
Estimated annual CO2: 9,461,921 tons
Source of financing:
Permits and applications: Environmental Clearance, India MoEF, May 1, 2008; Terms of Reference, India MoEF, May 13, 2011; Terms of reference, India MoEF, Dec 12, 2014

Resources and articles

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Shine Jacob, "NTPC makes last-ditch effort to revive Katwa project: direct acquisition of land from farmers runs into problems due to involvement of middlemen and high prices being quoted", Business Standard, February 19, 2012.
  2. "Katwa thermal power plant: Down but not out" Panchali Ray, Infochange Environment, May 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Debjoy Sengupta, "NTPC gives nod to Katwa power plant in West Bengal," The Economic Times, 17 February 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 MEGHDEEP BHATTACHARYYA, "Doubts on NTPC plant: Govt officials point to three hurdles in Katwa," The Telegraph, 4 February 2014
  5. Terms of reference, India MoEF, Dec 12, 2014
  6. Proceedings of the public hearing for the proposed 2x660 mw coal plant at Katwa, India MoEF, Jun 30, 2015
  7. Arkamoy Dutta Majumdar, "NTPC puts Katwa power project on hold," LiveMint, 12 April 2017
  8. "NTPC may abandon two units if states renege on PPAs," Financial Express, July 31, 2018
  9. Terms of Reference, Ministry of Environment and Forests, received 13 May 2011

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