Odisha seeks Baitarani east coal block for OTPCL

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Bhubaneswar, March 22 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allocate Baitarani east coal block to the Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Ltd to meet the fuel need for its proposed thermal power plant in Dhenkanal district.

OTPCL, a 50:50 joint venture between two state run entities – Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) – has proposed to set up a 3200 Mw coal-fired power plant at Kamakshyanagar in Dhenkanal.

“Kindly consider allocating Baitarani east coal block in favour of OTPCL to cater to the requirement of the power project being set up by it in Dhenkanal district. Alternatively, Karadabahal and Brahmanibil coal blocks, which are also located nearby and have adequate reserves to cater to the requirement of the aforesaid power project may be considered for allocation to the state PSU,” Patnaik said in a letter to Modi.

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Patnaik said the coal mine having a tentative reserve of 600 MT of coal has been allocated to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) while geographically it is situated far away from the command area of operation of MCL.

“It will be easier on part of the state PSU to develop this coal mine as it is bordering another coal mine – Baitarani west coal mine – recently allocated to the state government,” he said, noting it will go a long way in ensuring the energy security of the state and attainment of the goal envisaged by both the state government and centre of providing 24X7 power for all.

Initially, OTPCL was allocated the Tentuloi coal block. But, this being an underground coal reserve, was very difficult to mine.

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Later, the state government had demanded allotment of Chhendipada and Chhendipada II coal blocks to OTPCL. But, no coal block has been allocated in favour of Odisha government, said the chief minister.

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