ONGC sets up first power project to run on Bangladesh gas

     The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) has set up first unit of 726-MegaWatt power plant here which will run on gas supplied by Bangladesh. The plant is coming up at Palatana, 60 kilometres from Agartala, bordering Bangladesh, which has proven gas reserves of 8.4 trillion cubic feet. According to ONGC, the Power plant will start generating electricity by December 2011. "The first unit (is) to be commissioned by December 11th and second one by March 12th (2011), that is the assurance I have been given by various senior level (authorities)," said R S Sharma, Chairman of ONGC. The Palatana power project combined with transmission links and gas pipelines is slated to bring in investments of around rupees 90 billion, the largest ever single investment in northeastern region. "I feel this project which is getting commissioned here is not only significant for the economy of the state. It is very important for the economy of the entire northeastern region. More than that, this project is building bridges between the two countries," said Sharma "The kind of cooperation, the mutual understanding and the support that we have been getting from the Bangladeshi government and all authorities, we feel so much happy as the two nations coming together," he added. Heavy machinery for the project was transported through Bangladesh, with Dhaka allowing transit through the Ashuganj river port on the river Meghna. With the Palatana project generating excess capacity when completed, India has offered to link Bangladesh to its electricity grid and sell it power to help it overcome persistent shortages in peak demand periods.

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