In a significant development for the energy sector, the North Karanpura Super Critical Thermal Power Plant, operated by NTPC at Tandwa, is gearing up for the trial run of its second unit in February. The first unit, commissioned in March 2023, has been a powerhouse, producing a remarkable 3,712 million units until December 2023. Now, the eagerly awaited second unit is set to commence operations by March this year, followed by the third unit in November.
According to the power purchase agreement (PPA) inked between NTPC management and states like Bihar, Odisha, Sikkim, West Bengal, and Jharkhand, the plant is poised to supply power to these regions. Dhiraj Kumar Gupta, Deputy General Manager of the power plant, emphasized the significance of 2024, noting that the two remaining units will start production, marking a crucial year for NTPC.
In terms of technology, the NTPC Tandwa plant is at the forefront, utilizing advanced methods that result in a 60% reduction in water consumption compared to conventional power generation stations. Notably, it requires approximately 10,000 tonnes of coal daily to operate a single unit. Concurrently, about 3,200 tonnes of ash are produced daily as a byproduct, which finds purpose in the manufacturing of fly ash bricks by cement industries.
Currently, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Sikkim receive their electricity supply from the Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (JBVNL) through the Chandwa grid. The power distribution breakdown reveals that Jharkhand receives 26.73%, Odisha 22%, Bihar 44.65%, West Bengal 6.45%, and Sikkim 0.16%. After meeting the power demands of these states, NTPC will retain 297MW of power from all three units, as per sources.
The journey of the NTPC Tandwa plant dates back to March 6, 1999, when then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid its foundation. However, the initiation of construction faced obstacles as Coal India Limited objected to the location, citing a coal reserve of six billion tonnes. After obtaining the Union government’s approval in August 2014, construction commenced, though further delays occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In conclusion, the upcoming trial run of the second unit in February marks a crucial step in the NTPC Tandwa plant’s journey. With the prospect of powering multiple states efficiently and sustainably, 2024 stands out as a milestone year for NTPC. As the energy landscape evolves, the plant’s utilization of cutting-edge technology and its commitment to environmental responsibility position it as a key player in the nation’s power infrastructure.