President commissions first unit of ONGC Tripura plant

When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the 726.6-MW gas-based ONGC Tripura Power Company at Palatana in Tripura in 2005 – barely kilometres away from the Bangladesh border – not many, even in ONGC boardroom, were convinced if the project would take off.

Never before had power equipment weighing up to 280 tonne been brought to this land-locked State, which suffers from poor connectivity. All the power projects commissioned here so far were only of 10-30 MW capacity each.

About eight years later, President Pranab Mukherjee dedicated to the nation the first 363.3 MW unit on Friday. He was all praise for the role of Bangladesh in making this happen.

“India has many power generation utilities. Many more are coming up. But this one is special. Because if Bangladesh had not extended exemplary co-operation in allowing transit of the heavy equipment through their territories, OTPC would have never been a reality,” Mukherjee said in the presence of Bangladeshi diplomats in India.

He stressed on extending the scope of such initiatives for mutual benefit.

“We are trying to set up a common grid (through West Bengal border) to supply power (to Dhaka). NTPC is also setting up a thermal power station in Bangladesh,” the President said.

Fillip to North-East

Gas was discovered in Tripura as early as in 1974. The state-owned ONGC had established production potential to the tune of 5 million standard cubic metres or more.

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