Orissa government has signed 10 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with private companies to set up mega thermal power plants in the state, even as Reliance Energy did not join the MoU signing ceremony despite prior government announcement.
The 10 projects, combined together, entail an investment of Rs 45,000 crore and are envisaged to produce 10,920 MW power.
The companies that entered into the MoUs include Bhusan Energy Private Limited (2,000 MW, Rs 8,483 crore), KVK Nilachal Limited (600 MW, Rs 2,580 crore), Calcutta Electricity Supply Corporation (1000 MW, Rs 4,042 crore), Tata Power (1,000 MW, Rs 4,348 crore), Monnet Ispat and Energy Limited (600 MW, Rs 2,852 crore), Essar Power Limited (1,000 MW, Rs 4,500 crore), Visa Power (1,000 MW, Rs 3,698 crore), Jindal Photo Film Limited (1,000 MW, Rs 4,525 crore), Lanco group (1,320 MW, Rs 4,500 crore) and Sterlite Energy (2,400 MW, Rs 7,481 crore).
Of these, the Tatas, Essar, Bhusan, Visa, Jindal, and Sterlite have also previously signed MoUs with the state government for setting up steel plants in the state.
On September 20, a high-level committee presided over by Chief Minister Navin Patnaik had cleared 11 power projects and one cement project.
Although the state government had approved the Reliance Energy'sproposal for 4,000-MW power plant proposed to come up at Hirma in Jharsuguda district, the company did not turn up to the MoU signing ceremony.
Speaking to reporters on the non-appearance of the Reliance, state Energy Minister Suryanarayan Patra said, ?We have some problems with the Reliance Energy. However, we have formed a task force to sort out the issues and hope we will soon sign the agreement.?
Sources in the government said the government, under fear of the Opposition criticism, removed from its MoU signing agenda the name of Reliance Energy as the company owes nearly Rs 2000 crore to the Grid Corporation of Orissa (Gridco) on bulk power purchase.
The state government, under attack from the Opposition, had declared that the company would be asked to pay its arrears before signing of the MoU.
However, non-payment of arrears forced the government to change its plan, the sources added. Although Reliance Energy had originally proposed to set up a 12,000-MW project, the state had given clearance for the 4000-MW first phase unit with an investment of Rs 16,236 crore.
Orissa Industry Minister Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, who addressed the investor'sbrigade, welcomed them to the new industrial atmosphere of the state.
Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, who was also present on the occasion, said with the addition of 10,920 MW units of power, the state is set to emerge as the powerhouse of the country.
With the signing up of the 10 MoUs, the combined generation capacity of the thermal power projects lined up in Orissa has increased to 16,000 MW.
In June, the state government had signed MoUs with Naba-Bharat Power Private Limited, Mahanadi Aban Power Company Limited and GMR Energy Limited for projects envisaging a combined investment of Rs 13,402 crore and a generation capacity of 3,070 MW.