State-run power generator NTPC has invited applications from MSMEs and other Indian companies to gauge their interest in setting up manufacturing units within the premises of its power plants. NTPC plans to use its unutilised land to build industrial parks to attract industries, where land, water, electricity and other infrastructural facilities will be arranged by the company.
The EoIs have been invited for setting up energy-intensive manufacturing plants such as bulk chemicals – ammonia, urea, chloralkali, gypsum and gypsum products, geopolymer, aluminium, metal industries, etc – in the industrial parks to be developed on a pilot basis in its thermal power plants at Solapur (Maharashtra), Kudgi (Karnataka) and Gadarwara (Madhya Pradesh).
The pilot parks are proposed to be built across 791 acres in Karnataka, 500 acres in Madhya Pradesh and 428 acres in Maharashtra. Manufacturing units inside NTPC industrial parks will have to pay “very competitive electricity rates to make these competitive in the world market”, the company said. Power tariffs are higher for industrial consumers as they cross-subsidise domestic and agricultural users who buy power at much lower rates.
NTPC will seek government’s approvals required for building such parks based on responses received from the industry. The company has more than 20,000 acres of land across the country, of which about half is freehold and the remaining is on leasehold. NTPC has already decided not to acquire any further land for thermal projects soon as its entire focus will be on carbon-free sources.
The move to offer free land to third parties for building industrial units is similar to Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL)—another power sector PSU—offering its 14,000-acre land bank for a range of purposes like setting up manufacturing facilities, hospitals and smart cities. BHEL had also called for expression of interest from foreign companies who wish to use its currently idle factories for manufacturing their products from India.
With a total installed capacity of 62.9 GW, NTPC Group has 70 power stations comprising of 24 coal, 7 combined cycle gas/liquid fuel, 1 hydro, 13 renewables along with 25 subsidiary & JV power stations. The group has over 20 GW of capacity under construction, of which 5GW comprises of renewable energy.