NEEPCO to double output

North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO), which meets about 60 % of the region's total power demand at present, plans to double its output during the next three years, adding about 5000 mw more to the present production level.

"Currently we have an installed capacity of 1130 mw, which is about 49 % of the total installed capacity of the region. Power generation during 2010-11 was 5092 mu. This is about 60 % of the total energy requirement. Within the next three years, I have planned to double the capacity," NEEPCO CMD, P C Pankaj, said here on Thursday.

In view of the estimated financial requirement, that would run into about Rs 25,000 crore during the 12th five year plan period, NEEPCO might also form joint ventures with state governments. "In fact, I have already discussed the project with the power ministers of Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya. They have all expressed their interest in forming joint ventures," Pankaj said, adding the Northeast has a potential to generate about 59,000 mw of hydropower, while the region needs only 2,200 mw at present. The gap between demand and supply at peak hours now, however, stands at about 12 %.

Currently, NEEPCO runs two thermal projects in Assam Gas Based power Plant ( 291 mw) and Agartala Gas Turbine Power Plant (84 mw) and three hydro-power projects- kopili in Assam ( 275mw), Doyang in Nagaland (75 mw) and Ranganadi ( 405 mw).

Five projects, totalling 916 MW, are already under execution in the region -- Kameng (600 mw), Pare (110 mw) and Tuirial Hydro Electric Project (60 mw) of Arunachal Pradesh and in AGTP CC Extension (46 mw expected) and Monarchak project or TGBP (100 mw). The Rs 623 crore Monarchak project is expected to complete and start generation by 2013.

Besides, NEEPCO will soon undertake four new projects totaling 975 MW at Killing (Assam-Meghalaya border) Mawphu (Meghalaya), Lower Kopili Hydro Electric Priojects and Garo Hills Coal Based Power Project to meet the power demand of the region, Pankaj said. "These apart, NEEPCO also signed an MoU with Mizoram government very recently for three hydro projects," he said.

On Tipaimukh, which had run into controversies, the NEEPCO head felt it would cease to be a problem as the corporation was going whole hog to implement the project.