Electricity minister Aryadan Muhammad said that coal would not be used as fuel in the proposed Cheemeni thermal power project. He also hinted that LNG based project will be unviable due to high power tariff. Hence, the iconic power project proposal put forward by LDF government to to secure Kerala power sector for next 10 years is in stalemate. It is learned that power exchanges are pressurising against Cheemeni Power project. Kerala is Purchasing power worth Rs.3660 crores from market including power exchanges in a year. Self reliant KSEB will be a threat to them.
He was speaking after having a discussion with Union Minister Susheel Kumar Shinde. Instead of Cheemeni, a thermal power plant using coal would be set up in Ramagundam in Andhra Pradesh in association with NTPC.A share of electricity will be given to Andhra government and NTPC and thus the state would get 65% electricity. He said the project would have capacity to produce 1000-megawatt electricity and central government has in fact given approval for the project.
On the other day the CPM has come out against the proposed coal based thermal power project in Cheemeni. CPM Kasargod district secretary KP Satheesh Chandran said that the announcement by Union minister of state for Energy KC Venugopal that the thermal plant would function using coal, couldn't be accepted.He said the project would result in serious environmental issues and the party would stand with the people against this.
KC Venugopal said that more importance must be given to Cheemeni project than Athirapilly for which environmental clearance was denied.
But the previous LDF government had planned to implement Cheemeni project which would produce 1300-megawatt electricity using natural gas from the gas pipeline in Kochi.
The gas pipeline grid is expected to be functioning from 2013 for transporting LNG from Kochi to Coimbatore via Bangalore and then from Kochi to Mangalore directly. A special company was also formed by KSIDC and KSEB with 50 % share each.