NTPC’s Siang project
NTPC, India’s largest power producer, is reportedly planning a massive 10,000 mw hydel project in Upper Siang district, Arunachal Pradesh. This proposed project is an ultra-mega hydel project would cost Rs. 1,00,000 crore, and project implementation would stretch to a decade.
The experts say that the mega project is to be cautiously welcomed, given the pitfalls and risks involved in planning so large a project in a remote border region. Sound project management is needed otherwise, project delays could shore up costs and make it unviable and uneconomic. And since such a large hydel project has never been attempted in the subcontinent, it may make sense to hive off the whole project into two or three modules, so as to keep better tab on costs and aid implementation.
What is North East India’s Hydel Potential?
The north-east’s hydel potential is estimated at over 50,000 mw, of which a tiny fraction has been tapped. North-east is well suited for hydel capacity with minimal storage and associated environmental costs mainly because of the steep gradient. This potential is 30,000 MW for Bhutan.
With its current installed base of 34,000 mw, NTPC remains focused on thermal generation. The power major is already implementing hydel projects totalling 1,700 mw in capacity addition; its 800 mw Koldam hydel project in Himachal is slated to start generation next year.
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