KOLKATA: NTPC and its JV subsidiary, Nabinagar power plant, have awarded boiler-turbine-generator (BTG) contracts for a total of 1,750 mw (7x250 mw) units to Bhel at an estimated value of Rs 3,500 crore. The total cost of setting up these units will be around Rs 8,700 crore.

These are for two different projects. The first one includes three units of 250 mw at an investment of Rs 3,300 crore at Bongaigaon in the North-East. It is being set up by NTPC. The contract awarded to Bhel is for three units of 250 mw BTG, along with a coal desulphurisation plant, since coal available at Bongaigaon is high in sulphur content. One needs to get rid of this sulphur before the coal is fed into the boiler. The value of the contract for BHEL is about Rs 1,500 crore.

The other BTG contract, estimated at Rs 2,000 crore for BHEL will be for four units of 250 mw at Navinagar in Bihar's Aurangabad district. Total cost of the project for NTPC is estimated to be around Rs 5,352 crore. The Bongaigaon plant, which will be NTPC's first power plant in the Northeastern region is expected to start generating electricity from the first 250 mw unit by the end of 2009.

The second unit is likely to be completed in 2010-11 and the third by 2011-12. The project is expected to go a long way in solving Assam's power crisis. The power station will come up at the existing facilities of the now-defunct Bongaigaon thermal power station of the Assam State Electricity Board.

The Nabinagar power plant with a 1,000 mw capacity, will supply 90% of its power to Indian Railways, while 10% of power from this plant is earmarked for other users. NTPC holds 74% in the power plant, while Indian Railways holds 26%. The companies will invest Rs 1,188 crore and Rs 417 crore respectively in the company. The electricity from this plant will be utilised by Indian Railways for running electric trains in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhatisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in the eastern and western regions of the country.