Sipat (Chhattisgarh), Sep 19 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday commissioned the NTPC's 2,980 MW Super Thermal Power Station to the nation at a grand function held at Sipat, in Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur district.
He also laid the foundation stone of 1,600 MW stage-I of NTPC's Lara Super Thermal Power Project through remote control. The project to come up at Lara village in the state's coal-rich Raigarh district will have two 800 MW units in stage I and an ultimate installed capacity of 4,000 MW.
"The coal-based Sipat Super Thermal Power Station is capable of generating 2,980 MW of electricity and it will not only cater to the demands of Chhattisgarh but also adjoining states like Madhya Pradesh and as far as Jammu and Kashmir," the prime minister said in his brief speech, dedicating the project to the nation.
He noted that in the 11th Five Year Plan period, India achieved a record power generation capacity of about 55,000 MW which was double the capacity added in the 10th Plan period, and in the 12th Plan a target of adding over 118,000 MW of power generation has been set.
Built at an estimated cost of Rs.13,000 crore, the Sipat plant is the first to have used super critical technology.
Manmohan Singh said that the power ministry is now taking steps to encourage indigenous manufacturing of super critical technology. "This is being done by inviting bulk tendering for manufacture of supercritical units. The 800 MW units of Lara thermal plant will be set up with the help of this process," he said.
He said that in the 13th Plan, thermal plants based only on super critical technologies will be set up.
The prime minister stated that advanced ultra super critical technology is now being developed in the country, and lauded the efforts of NTPC, BHEL and Indira Gandhi Centre for Nuclear Research for working in tandem to develop this technology.
The prime minister was accompanied by Governor Shekhar Dutt, Chief Minister Raman Singh, union Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia, union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Charandas Mahant, who also heads the Congress' Chhattisgarh unit, and NTPC CMD Arup Roy Choudhury.
In his welcome address, Scindia said that power is key to the growth of any country and capacity addition is doing better year after year in the country. He said that new capacity generation in 2012-13 was 23,000 MW, which is a record.
Scindia also stated that in the coming years, Chhattisgarh will become the country's electricity hub as the government is planning to make investments of Rs.62,000 crore in the power sector in the state in various projects of generation, transmission etc.