The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has approved the reduction in the capacity of the 2×800 MW Ennore SEZ Thermal Power Plant being implemented by BHEL for Tangedco to 2×660 MW.

The committee also directed the project proponent to raise a green belt in 92 acres of land that would now become free following the reduction in the size of the two units.

The recommendations came at the 18th meeting of the EAC on thermal power projects held in the last week of June.

The project proposed at Vayalur village was awarded to BHEL by Tangedco in September 2014 as it was the lowest bidder but a consortium went to court seeking the contract to be awarded to it.

The legal process ended in October 2016 in favour of Tangedco.

The project was held up for more than two years and BHEL had commenced work on October 19, 2016, after the verdict. “The time schedule for completion of power project is 42 months from LoI (Letter of Intent) and expected to achieve COD (Commercial Operations Date) by 2019-20,” the committee noted.

According to the minutes of the meeting, the reduction in the unit size involves reduction in both consumption of resources and pollution levels from the proposed plant.

While the land requirement for the 2×800 MW plants was 500 acres, the reduced capacity requires only 408 acres.

The requirements for water and coal also decline considerably, while the project cost is estimated to come down by Rs. 1,354.11 crore. However, the power generated also is set to decline by 2084.88 MUs.

The committee noted that all the raw materials and resources requirement and emissions will proportionately reduce when compared with the requirement of 2×800 MW. However, 800 MW is ultra super critical unit whereas 660 MW is supercritical.

The committee also directed the company to raise a greenbelt in addition to the green belt stipulated earlier on the 92 acres that would be available following the reduction in the size of the units.

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