Vidarbha thermal power station
Vidarbha thermal power station was a proposed 1,320-megawatt (MW) power station in Maharashtra, India.
Liquidation proceedings are underway, and the power station is on hold and presumed cancelled. Related e-auction documents noted construction started in January 2011, but slowed following opposition and a Court directive, and had stalled by May 2013.
The undated satellite photo below shows the location of the construction site, which is 2 km east of the village of Mandva (or Mandwa) and 6 km northwest of Wardha.
A July 2012 Lanco investor presentation reported: "TG deck of unit 1 completed." According to the Central Electricity Authority (September 2012), Unit 1 will be commissioned in April 2014 and Unit 2 will be commissioned in August 2014.
The units were planned for operation in 2017, three years after the proposed 2014 date.
As of September 2016, satellite photos of the construction site on Google Earth Time Slider showed that there had been no construction activity at the site since November 2013.
According to the October 2016 Broad Status Report, construction work resumed in April 2015 after easing of "financial crunch." According to the September 2017 Broad Status Report, the two units were expected to be commissioned in 2018-2019. However, the April 2018 Broad Status stated: "Work progress is slow due to Financial Constraint." As of August 2018, no date was given for commissioning.
In January 2018, the company was regranted an extension of validity on its Environmental Clearance until February 2021 under certain conditions.
According to the company's website (2022), "The most recent Construction Monitoring Report by the Lender’s Engineer dt. September 20, 2016, recorded the engineering progress for the project as 77.62%, and cumulative percentage of construction progress as 26.57%, while the overall progress achieved by the project was stated to be 45.55%."
The plant was one of the country's 34 stressed, non-performing power assets.
In 2021, government documents listed the following for the project: "Liquidation Order date 30.06.2021; The Liquidator has initiated for E-Auction Sale as a going concern."
Related documents were available on Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Limited's liquidation website.
A court petition filed by four farmers against the Environmental Clearance challenged the validity of the hearing that took place on September 17, 2010. According to the court documents, about 5,000 villagers attended the hearing, which "was vitiated by ruckus since the Regional Officer, MPCB did not hear all the villagers ... the respondents used muscle power against the poor villagers; the Police Officers present at the hearing openly threatened the villagers and directed not to speak against the project ... the public hearing was abruptly closed after goons hired by the respondents created ruckus and villagers were brutally beaten." The company denied the allegations.
In response to the petition, the court ordered a new hearing, which took place in June 2012. According to an account in The Times of India, the new hearing was "stage-managed, with only families of those employed by the plant saying yes" to the project. Manoj Manwatkar, son of one of the petitioners, complained, "This is an eye wash as 30% of the project has been completed. Work should be stopped till the Supreme Court decides the petition to cancel environment clearance filed by four affected farmers from Pulai. The public hearing should also be termed null and void."
The Times of India article reported further:
- Dr Vibha Gupta, chairperson of Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti (MSS), Wardha, said temperatures of Wardha have already crossed 47 degrees. Power units would mean disaster. "These units are taking away our land and water, and in return giving us ash. Lanco will take away a lot of water, even as Wardha residents get drinking water every alternate day. The unit will also pollute rivers supplying water to Wardha," Gupta said.
- Many farmers criticized the company officials for making fake promises. Sandeep Pakhide said Lanco was to plant 1.75 lakh trees in four years but it has planted not more than a 1,000 trees. Also, most of the saplings have died. He wanted the plant to use the best technology to curb pollution.
- Power sector expert Sudhir Paliwal said Lanco is making tall claims about benefiting several villages, but there are 84 villages in the 10-12km radius around the plant. "What about the welfare of these villages?" he asked.
China Development Bank gave US$200 million Buyers’ Credit for units 3 & 4 (1320 MW) of Lanco Amarkantak Thermal Power Project, the 1,320 MW Babandh power station, and the 1,320 MW Vidarbha thermal power station being developed by Lanco Group.
Location: 2 km east of the village of Mandva (or Mandwa), Wardha talk, Wardha district, Maharashtra
Coordinates: 20.8221936, 78.4872079 (Exact)
Status: Cancelled (Construction on hold)
Capacity: 1320 MW (Units 1-2: 660 MW)
Projected in service: 2018-2019
Coal Type: Domestic
Coal Source: SECL
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing: China Development Bank
Public hearing: "Minutes of Environmental Public Hearing in respect of proposed M/s. Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Ltd. 1320MW (660x2) Coal Based Thermal Power Project at Village Mandwa, Pulai & Belgaon, Tq.Dist. Wardha," Ministry of Environment and Forests, September 17, 2010
Permits and applications:
- Environmental Clearance, India MoEF, February 24, 2011; Environmental Clearance Extension, India MoEF, Sep 3, 2016
- Environmental Impact Assessment, October, 2010
- "2nd E-Auction Process Information Document," Document issued by Mr. Vijay Kumar Garg, Liquidator of Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Limited, January 13, 2022
- "Half Yearly Environmental Clearance Compliance Report, April 1 - September 30, 2013," Lanco Infratech
- Lanco, "Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Ltd", Lanco website, accessed July 2011
- "Investor Presentation," Lanco Infratech, July 2012
- Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country, Central Electricity Authority, September 2012
- "Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Ltd," Lanco website, September 2014
- "Supply of coal to Power Plants," India Ministry of Power, July 23, 2015
- "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, March 2016
- "Application for Extension of EC," MOEFCC website, December 31, 2015
- Environmental Clearance, India MoEF, September 3, 2016
- "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, October 2016
- “Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country,” India Ministry of Power, September 2017
- "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, April 2018
- "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, August 2018
- "Minuted of the 15th Meeting of the re-constituted EAC (Thermal Power)," MoEF, February 28, 2018
- "About Us," Lanco Vidarbha Thermal Power Limited, accessed January 2022
- "Stressed /Non-performing Assets in Electricity Sector," India Ministry of Power report page 15, March 2018
- “Broad Status Report,” Thermal Project Monitoring Division , Central Electricity Authority, November 2021
- "IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY, NAGPUR BENCH AT NAGPUR, PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION NO. 78/2010," Ministry of Environment and Forests
- Vijay Pinjarkar, "Lanco public hearing sans affected public," The Times of India, June 21, 2012
- "Lanco Infratech to raise US$2 billion from Chinese banks and FIs for power projects," Lanco press release, November 26, 2012
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