NTPC Eyeing Operations of 4,000 MW GRES-1 Coal-Based Thermal Power Plant In Kazakhstan

01-June-2009. Energy Business Review  

NTPC Limited (NTPC), in order to increase coal supply for the Indian power sector and gain access to Kazakhstan, conveyed its interest to operate a coal-based thermal power plant with a capacity of 4,000 megawatts (MW) in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan. The 4,000 MW GRES-1 plant located in Kazakhstan is owned by Kazakhmys Plc, a global natural resources company. The plant was acquired by Kazakhmys from AES Corporation and had a total installed generation capacity of 43,000 MW.

Kazakhmys proposes to overhaul the plant to improve efficiency and increase utilization. The plant renovation is a part of Kazakhstan’s “anti-crisis” program.

In Central Asia, Kazakhstan has major coal reserves with approximately 37.5 billion tons of bituminous and anthracitic coal. In contrast, India has 256 billion tons of coal reserves with 455 million tons mined every year.

RS Sharma, chairman of NTPC said the company focuses on obtaining the contract for reconstruction and maintenance of the GRES-1 power station. NTPC would evaluate the processes and calculate the profitability of operating the plant. The deal is still in its initial stages. Kazakhmys, rooted on NTPC’s report, would invite bids or directly on a nomination basis grant the contract to NTPC.

NTPC accounts for 23,895 MW of power generation capacity from its coal-fired thermal power plants. The company imports around 8 million tons of coal with a projected total coal requirement of around 125 million tons annually. NTPC intends to import 15 million tons of coal annually from Kazakhstan and intends to enter in to a swap agreement for the import of coal through a third country closer to India.