Banka Power Project
The Banka Power Project, also known as Siriya Power Project, is a proposed 2,640-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Bihar, India.
The company states that the project, which has acquired part of the land necessary, will be located at Siriya village. Wikimapia shows the project at the location shown in the map below:
Project sponsor Abhijeet Group proposes the project be 2,640 MW (4 X 660 MW). In 2011 the company stated the first stage of the project would comprise two 660MW units with the first to be commissioned by June 2014 and the second online by October 2014.
The Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) states that a memorandum of understanding was signed with Jas Infrastructure and Power on the 17th October 2007 and that an "addendum" to the MoU was signed in late December 2008 "for enhancing the ultimate capacity to 2640 MW and extending MoU for thirteen months" to February 2011. Under the MoU "BSEB has right to purchase 25% of power from the proposed project."
However, in June 2011 Abhijeet Group informed potential investors that the MOU with the BSEB had expired on March 1, 2011 and "we cannot assure you that such memoranda of understanding will be extended in a timely manner, on terms favourable to us or at all." Abhijeet Group states that "failure to extend this memorandum of understanding could delay or prevent the development of the Banka Power Project" and that "it remains unclear whether JIPL may be required to honour the Bihar State Electricity Board‘s right of first refusal."
The company was granted environmental clearance for the project in 2011.
In 2013 the Ministry of Power listed the project among "ADDITIONAL PROJECTS FOR LIKELY COMMISSIONING DURING 12TH PLAN," (i.e. 2012 - 2017).
Project sponsor Abhijeet Group states that the first phase is scheduled for commissioning in July 2014, however in April 2014 work on the project was reportedly stalled due to a scandal involving India coal block allocations, called Coalgate.
There has been no updates on the project since April 2014.
Water and coal supply
On its website the Abhijeet Group states that it has received approval for "85 million cubic meter from Chandan Dam in Bihar", approximately 7 kilometres from the proposed power station. The company states that the "water required for 1320 MW is approx. 39.50 million cubic meter". The company also states that coal for the project will be sourced from Mahuagarhi coal block, which it states has an "estimated total coal reserves of 220 MMT allotted in 50:50 Joint Venture with CESC." The proposed coal mine is approximately "85 km from power project site" and the company has "also applied for coal linkage for additional coal requirement."
The Mahuagarhi Coal Company Private Limited (MCCPL) is the joint venture company formed with CESC. In its prospectus, Abhijeet states MCCPL "has not yet obtained certain approvals, such as a mining lease and has also not yet prepared the geological report. Any failure by Mahuagarhi Coal to obtain such approvals in a timely manner, or at all, may adversely affect the ability of JIPL to obtain fuel for the Banka Power Project, and in turn, adversely affect our results of operations." The company also notes that while the Ministry of Coal have assessed the deposit as containing 220 million tonnes "we have not conducted an independent analysis to confirm such coal reserves."
The company states that it has submitted an environmental impact statement for the project.
In its June 2011 prospectus the Abhijeet Group states that "we have received sanction letters / underwriting arrangements for an amount of 74,000.00 million from Axis Bank, Punjab National Bank and UCO Bank."
The viability of the project also hinges on its eligibility of attracting financial credits for the use of supercritical units under the Clean Development Mechanism. In its June 2011 prospectus the company notes that as the Kyoto Protocol is scheduled to expire in 2012 and that a "new framework for implementation of CDM may not be brought into effect immediately. The Banka Power Project is scheduled to be fully commissioned in October 2014 and as a result we may be unable to avail of the CDM benefits which may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations."
On May 26 2011 the Bihar State Investment Promotion Board approved JAS's proposed Banka Power Project.
An earlier report from April stated that BSEB had announced it would invest "INR79,600m ($1,771.12m) in the construction and development" of a 1320MW thermal power project in the Banka district with a commissioning date of 2015. However, the report did not specifically indicate whether this decision related to the Jas Infrastructure and Power Limited proposal or not. Neither the BSEB or Abhijeet Group websites provide recent information on the status of the project.
In November 2012, the Times of India reported that Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey had given his support to farmers agitating against the Banka Power Project under the banner of "Chandan dam Bachao Sangharsh Samiti" at Menka Pahari village, the site of the Baunsi coal block. Awarded each year to honor integrity in public service, the Magsaysay Award is often described as "Asia's Nobel Prize." According to the Times of India article, farmers feared that water from the Chandan dam would be diverted to the power plant at the expense of irrigation in seven blocks of Banka district. Farmers were also upset at being pressured to sell land at below-market prices. According to local activist Umesh Yadav, "About 250 families in the neighbouring villages have already given 785 acres for the project."
With no progress after being stalled for over two years, it appears as of November 2016 that the project has been abandoned.
- Stage 1: 1320 MW (2 X 660 MW)
- Stage II: 1320 MW (2 X 660 MW)
Projected in service:
Coal Type: 4.76 million tonnes per annum with a calorific value of 4,700 kcal/kg at 90.0% plant load factor
Coal Source: Mahuagarhi coal block, located in Rajmahal coalfields, Jharkhand
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing: Axis Bank, Punjab National Bank and UCO Bank
Permits: Environmental clearance, Units 1-4 India MoEF, June 29, 2011.
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- "JIPL PLANT BANKA ABHIJEET GROUP," Wikimapia, accessed January 2014
- Abhijeet Group, "Project Details", Abhijeet Group website, accessed November 2011.
- Bihar State Electricity Board, "New Projects", Bihar State Electricity Board website, accessed December 2011.
- Abhijeet Group, "Abhijeet Power Limited: Draft Red Herring Prospectus", Abhijeet Group, June 2011, page 26.
- Environmental clearance, India MoEF, June 29, 2011.
- "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country" Government of India Ministry of Power, November 2013.
- "Projects under execution," Abhijeet Group, accessed Sep 2014.
- "Banka-Bhagalpur: The ‘power-house’ of Bihar?" Bihar Times, April 24, 2014
- Abhijeet Group, "Abhijeet Power Limited: Draft Red Herring Prospectus", Abhijeet Group, June 2011, page 27. Cite error: Invalid
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- Abhijeet Group, "Abhijeet Power Limited: Draft Red Herring Prospectus", Abhijeet Group, June 2011, page 146. Cite error: Invalid
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- Abhijeet Group, "Abhijeet Power Limited: Draft Red Herring Prospectus", Abhijeet Group, June 2011, page 85.
- "Proposals Approved by State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB)", State Investment Promotion Board website, October 2011.
- "BSEB To Invest $1,771 Million For Banka Thermal Power Plant In Bihar", ResearchViews, April 14 2011.
- Pranava K Chaudhary, "Maysaysay award winner opposes Banka power plant," Times of India, Nov 28, 2012
- "Ramon Magsaysay Award," Wikipedia accessed May 2014