Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (“ONGC”), a Fortune 500 company of the Government of India, owns significant natural gas reserves in the North Eastern state of Tripura. However, these natural gas reserves were not developed commercially due to low industrial demand in the North-Eastern region.
The complexities of logistics and attendant costs limited the economic viability of transportation of gas to other parts of the country where gas is in deficit. In order to optimally utilize the gas available in Tripura and to supply power to the deficit areas of North Eastern States of India, ONGC along with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) and Government of Tripura (GoT) formed a Special Purpose Vehicle ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) by entering into a Shareholders’ Agreement (SHA) on September 18, 2008 to implement a 726.6 MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) thermal power plant at Palatana, Tripura.
The first block (363.3 MW) of the power plant was declared under Commercial Operation from 4th January, 2014 and the second block (363.3 MW) of the two blocks was declared under Commercial Operation from 24th March 2015. BHEL was the EPC contractor for setting up of the power plant. Subsequently in April 2015, India Infrastructure Fund- II (acting through its investment manager ‘IDFC Alternatives Limited’) became an investor in the company by acquiring 23.5% of the equity stake.
The setting up of the power plant has helped in transforming the power scenario of the entire North-Eastern Region of the country and has assisted in catalyzing rapid economic development of the region. The generation project combined with linked transmission project and upstream gas supply project has brought in investments to the tune of Rs. 10,000 crores in the region.
A 400 kV D/C Transmission system connecting the OTPC power plant in Tripura to Bongaigaon in Assam over a distance of around 650 Kms has been set up for evacuation of power from the power plant.
The development and operation of the transmission system was undertaken by North-East Transmission Company Limited (NETCL) a joint venture of OTPC, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) and the North Eastern Region beneficiary states. Inter-state and intra-state sub-transmission system and the distribution system within NER states were developed by PGCIL as the Central Transmission Utility (CTU).