Friday, March 11, 2011

Sidcul's proposals in Uttarakhand for Gas-based Plants


Amid the sluggish growth of the hydropower sector in his state, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has tentatively approved plans by State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited (Sidcul) to set up gas-based power plants in the state.

“I am not aware of such proposal but as and when such a proposal comes to me, I will give my approval,” said Nishank.

With natural gas all set to reach the hill state, the government-owned Sidcul has prepared plans to set up two 300 Mw gas-based plants at Kashipur and Haridwar areas in collaboration with GAIL. This is the first diversification move by the Sidcul which had set up several key industrial estates like Pantnagar and Haridwar in the hill state.

When contacted, a government official told that Sidcul would place the proposal on the gas-based plants in the next meeting of its Board. The meeting was to be held last month but was postponed due to unavailability of some top officials.

GAIL is constructing two pipelines to bring them to Kashipur and Haridwar areas in the hill state from Uttar Pradesh in one year’s time. Since the industries are currently facing the heat of the power crisis in the hill state, the Sidcul is taking the new initiative to provide gas-based energy to these industries which includes some of India’s big names like Nestle, Tata Motors and Hero Honda.

GAIL began constructions of these pipelines last year with the construction of Karanpur-Moradabad-Kashipur-Rudrapur pipeline in the first phase with a cost of Rs 250 crore. The pipeline will be 182 km in length. Similarly, the other pipeline is being brought from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haridwar district of the state.

Besides this, the Sidcul has also evinced interest in the city-based gas distribution. With people in the hill state facing shortage of liquefied petroleum gas cylinders, Sidcul is also gearing up to prepare a blueprint for the city-based gas distribution in cities like Dehradun.