Itanagar: After Tripura, another northeastern state Arunachal Pradesh became the power surplus state after Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the 600 MW Kameng Hydro Power plant to the nation at a function in Itanagar on Saturday November 19.
The 600 MW Kameng Hydro Power plant was developed by the state owned North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) at a cost of more than Rs 8,450 crore and in an area spread over more than 80 kilometres in West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh and it is 90 km From Tezpur in Assam.
“The newly built Hydro Power project would not only make Arunachal Pradesh a power surplus state, also benefiting the National Grid in terms of grid stability and integration,” a senior NEEPCO engineer told IANS. This project will contribute in a major way towards fulfilment of the country’s commitment to increase adoption of green energy, the engineer said, refusing to be named.
He said that despite the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) clearing the Kameng Hydro Power project in 2004 with an anticipated expenditure of around Rs 2,497 crore, the project cost shot up to Rs 8,450 crore due to delay in commissioning the giant power plant for diverse reasons.
According to the NEEPCO officials, major design change of primary structures, geological surprises, devastating flash floods, contractual issues, law and order problems caused the delay in commissioning the project, which was supposed to be completed by 2009.
The Kameng power project is a runoff-the river scheme which will utilise the flows from Bichom and Tenga Rivers (both tributaries of the River Kameng) over a gross head of 536 meter available downstream of the confluence of the River Bichom with Kameng.
The project comprises two dams — Bichom and Tenga — and water is transported through a Head Race Tunnel. The present installed capacity of the Corporation is 2057 MW comprising 1525 MW in Hydro, 527 MW in Thermal and 5 MW in Renewable (Solar) and the Shillong-based (Meghalaya) PSU generates about 40 per cent of energy requirement of northeast India.
Official documents of NEEPCO said that there is a potentiality to generate around 70,000 MW of hydro power in Arunachal Pradesh, which is considered as a “power house of India.”
Tripura, the first northeastern state, became a power surplus state in 2013-14 after the government-owned Oil and Natural Gas Company set up the northeast’s one of the giant 726 MW generation capacity thermal power plant Palatana power plant in southern Tripura’s Udaipur, 64 km south of Agartala.
The Rs 10,000-crore Palatana power plant is an unique example of the cooperation between New Delhi and Dhaka, which ensured the passage of heavy project equipment and turbines to Palatana in southern Tripura through Bangladesh territory. Tripura has been supplying 160 MW electricity to Bangladesh from the Palatana power project.
By Sujit Chakrabrty