Bithnok Thermal Power Project
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Bithnok Thermal Power Project is an announced power station in Bithnok, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India.
Table 1: Project-level location details
|Plant name||Location||Coordinates (WGS 84)|
|Bithnok Thermal Power Project||Bithnok, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India||27.8499, 72.7173 (approximate)|
The map below shows the approximate location of the power station.
Table 2: Unit-level details
|Unit name||Status||Fuel(s)||Capacity (MW)||Technology||Start year||Retired year|
|Unit 1||announced||coal - lignite||250 MW||subcritical||-||-|
Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details
|Unit 1||NLC India Ltd||NLC India Ltd|
Project-level coal details
- Permits: Fr complete and awaiting approval as of june '23 (30 april 2010, sought extension; draft fr dated 6 dec 202)
Sponsor: Neyveli Lignite Corporation
Location: Bithnok village, Bikaner district, Rajasthan
Coordinates: 27.849853, 72.717276 (approximate)
Nameplate capacity: 250 MW
Projected in service:
Coal Type: Lignite
Coal Source: Bithnok lignite mine
Estimated annual CO2: 1,478,425
Source of financing:
Permits and applications:
In its July 2010 annual report, NLC stated that in October 2009 the company had applied to the Rajasthan government for the approval of the proposed power station and the Bithnok lignite mine, an associated 2.5 million tonne per annum lignite mine. "Public consultation process has been completed for both Mine and Power Projects. Expert Appraisal Committee of Ministry of Environment and Forests has considered the mining project. State Environmental Committee has issued the environmental clearance for the power project. NOC from Airport Authority has been received. Notification has been issued by Government of Rajasthan (GoR) for acquisition of required land for the project. Mining Plan has been approved by MOC and obtaining mining lease from GoR is in process," the company reported.
In its 2012-2013 annual report, the company stated that the "Government of Rajasthan has issued award for acquisition of 1175.87 hectares of private land in Bithnok village" for the project. The company stated that it needed to do a social benefit analysis before it could receive environmental clearance from the India government.
In 2014, it was reported the company was still pursuing forest clearance, a necessary step toward environmental clearance. Another 2014 report stated the project had not made progress toward environment clearance for the linked Bithnok mine, which had yet to be issued by MoEF.
In its 2013-2014 annual report, NLC stated the Bithnok mine had been recommended for environmental clearance, and the company had applied for forest clearance.
In May 2015, the NLC Board approved the investment decision to set up Bithnok Lignite Mine and Thermal Power Project at a cost of Rs 2,700 crore.
In its 2015 Annual Report, the company described the status of the project as follows:
- The Board of Directors of your Company has approved setting up of a lignite based Thermal Power Plant of 250 MW capacity with linked Mine of 2.25 MTPA at Bithnok in Bikaner District, in the State of Rajasthan at an aggregate cost of ₹ 2709.93 crore (Nov 2014). Power Purchase Agreement has been signed with Discoms of Rajasthan. Out of 3091.299 hectares (Ha.) land required for Bithnok TPS and Mine, Government of Rajasthan (GoR) has issued award for acquisition of 1175.87 hectares of private land in Bithnok village and 1863.184 Ha. of Government land will be diverted to your Company by GoR after takeover of the private land. The total land mentioned above included 225 Ha. of land for Thermal Power Station. State level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority, Rajasthan has already issued Environmental Clearance for TPS. In respect of the linked mine, MOE&F has informed that Environmental Clearance could be considered only after the Stage-I Forestry clearance is obtained for the forest land of 52.245 Ha. involved in the project. Obtaining Stage-I Forestry clearance is in progress. Your Company has entered into an agreement for supply of 25 cusecs of water from IGNP for this project. The Board has accorded investment approval for the project. It is proposed to implement the above project through EPC mode and the project is expected to be scommissioned during the year 2019. The Cumulative expenditure incurred up to 31st March 2015 is ₹ 85.04 crore.
In its 2016 annual report, the company described the status of the project as follows:
- Your Board of Directors has accorded approval for establishing a lignite based 250 MW Thermal Power Project with a linked mine of 2.25 MTPA capacity at Bithnok, Bikaner District in the State of Rajasthan at an estimated cost of ₹ 2709.93 crore with a scheduled commissioning in December 2019. It has been decided to implement this Project through EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) mode and accordingly a combined Expression of Interest (EOI) tender was floated along with the Barsingsar Thermal Power Station Extension Project. Scrutiny of offers received from prospective bidders has been completed and bidders shortlisted on Pre-qualification Requirements (PQR) have been issued Techno-commercial specifications. DGPS survey and demarcation work have been completed for the Mine and the Ministry of Coal (MOC) has accorded approval for the revised Mining Plan. MoE&F has issued Environmental Clearance to Bithnok Mine Project. The cumulative expenditure incurred upto 31st March 2016 is ₹ 106.20 crore.
In September 2017, NLC offered to bring tariffs down from the proposed coal plant by about 0.5 rupees per kilowatt hour, taking a hit of 1.5 percentage point to 2 percentage points on the return-on equity. The reduction was to save the plant from cancellation, as the state government reportedly wanted to scrap the long-term contracts that were signed in 2010 for the Bithnok and Barsingsar Thermal Power Project, citing the availability of cheaper solar and wind power.
In October 2017, it was reported that a site office had been established for the project. It was planned for completion in 2020. Reliance Power was listed as the EPC contractor. According to the Ministry of Power, Environmental Clearance for the thermal plant was granted on April 30, 2010, and validity extension was under progress.
However, the February 2018 Broad Status of power plants by the India Power Ministry states that "Project activities are under hold from 02.06.2017" as "GoR [Government of Rajasthan] had informed that due to increased project cost and time over run, Rajasthan Discom [distribution company] will not be in position to buy the power from BTPSE [Bithnok Thermal Power Station]. NLCIL [Neyveli Lignite Corporation] had replied that delay is due to acquisition of land by GoR and informed to review the decision. Matter is pending with GoR."
As of June 2021, there had been no further developments, and the project appeared to be deferred or abandoned.
The November 2022 Broad Status Report noted: "On 04-08-2022 a meeting held MoC/NLC/GoRaj(CS)/GoRaj(Pr Secy-Energy) to revive the Bithnok TPS for which a consultant to be appointed. Final decision will be taken after getting report from the consultant."
In addition, a separate December 2022 Monthly Report summarized the following project statuses:
- "Based on the discussions had with officials of GoR on 04.08.2022, it is proposed to revive Bithnok Thermal Power Project along with Bithnok Mine."
- "Board in its 522nd Meeting approved the MoU for Bithnok Thermal power project on 26.09.2022. The same was communicated to GoR on 01.10.2022. Awaiting Consent from Rajasthan."
- "Work order issued to M/s Mecon on 22.11.2022 for preparation of revised feasibility report for Bithnok Project of 1x250MW capacity with the updated cost estimate. M/s Mecon furnished the draft FR on 06.12.2022 and NLCIL communicated the comments to M/s Mecon. Submission of final FR expected shortly."
A late 2022 Lok Sabha answer and NLC's website confirmed the project's revival. As of January 2023, NCL's website stated based on the discussion with Rajasthan government officials, it has been agreed that NLC and GoR will jointly work to revive the Bithnok Thermal Power Project along with Bithnok Mines.
As May 2023, the project did not appear to have received any permits.
In June 2023, NLC's website posted the update that the feasibility report had been prepared and was under "scrutiny and approval." The June and July 2023 Broad Status reports stated that the project was being revived via a joint effort by NLC and the Government of Rajasthan.
Articles and Resources
- "Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd: Directors Report," July 2010
- "Annual Report," NLC, 2012-2013
- "Neyveli Lignite needs to develop own coal resources," Money Life, July 10, 2014
- "Neyveli Lignite’s projects not moving forward for want of clearances," Project Monitor, May 7, 2014
- "Annual report," Neyveli Lignite Corporation, 2013-2014
- "NLC gets nod to start two investment projects of Rs 5,328 cr," Business Standard, May 30, 2015
- "NLC gets nod to start two investment projects of Rs 5,328 cr," Business Standard, May 30, 2015
- "Directors' Report for the Year 2015-2016," Neyveli Lignite Annual Report 2016
- Rajesh Kumar Singh, "NLC India Offers Lower Tariffs to Save Power Plants," Bloomberg, September 27, 2017
- "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, October 2017
- "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, February 2018
- “Broad Status Report of Under Construction Thermal Power Projects,” India Central Electricity Authority, November 2022
- "Project Summary," Computerised Monitoring System for Projects, BITHNOK LIGNITE THERMAL POWER STATION, December 2022 Monthly Report
- "Production of Dry Fuel," MINISTER OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, COAL AND MINES, Starred Question No.206, to be answered on 21.12.2022
- "Upcoming Projects," NLC India, Last updated on 21-01-2023
- "Upcoming Projects," NLC India Limited, June 30, 2023
- Broad Status Report of Under Construction Thermal Power Projects (June, 2023) Central Electricity Authority, Government of Inida, June 2023
- Broad Status Report of Under Construction Thermal Power Projects (July, 2023), Central Electricity Authority, Gov. of India, July 2023
To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.