M. PRASAD (from a report on the 26th March 2012)

Adani Power's 3,300-MW Tiroda power project is nearing completion and the company has sent an urgent request to the coal ministry to convince the environment ministry to grant environment and forest clearance with redefined boundary of Lohara West and Lohara Extension coal blocks.

The company was allocated Lohara West and Lohara Extension coal blocks in Wardha coalfield in November 2007 to meet fuel requirement of Tiroda thermal power project. However, the Terms of Reference was withdrawn by the environment ministry in January 2010 as a part of the coal block area falls within proposed buffer zone of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. With the boundary redefined to avoid infringement, the company in its letter to the ministry asserted that only minimal area of the coal block infringes the proposed buffer zone of the reserve.

While withdrawing the ToR for the coal blocks, the Environment Ministry had recommended allocation of an alternate coal block for the power project. However, the company, in its request, mentioned that the coal ministry has not been able to allocate alternate coal block due to an absence of policy on such decisions.

Further, Adani Power officials informed the ministry that when the Environment Ministry withdrew the ToR, the company had already made significant progress such as procurement of a geological report, preparation of a mining plan, a public hearing, purchase of afforestration land, NoC for water withdrawal and also conducted various studies with a total investment of around Rs.200 crore. (2000 000 000)

The company stated that the Tiroda power project is in an advanced stage of commissioning and all the units are expected to be commissioned by 2013. An investment of Rs. 12,000 crore has already been made in the project. The company further stated that the project lenders have provided financing to the project on the strength of the coal supply from the captive block and they may review the financing arrangement if the coal supply is not secured. This can affect the fund disbursement schedule for the project. In view of this, the company requested the coal ministry to take an action at the earliest opportunity.

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