New Delhi: State-owned NTPC is likely to sign an agreement with the Chhattisgarh government to prepare a study on geothermal reserves available in the mineral rich state and advanced talks are on in this regard.

"Chhattisgarh government may sign a pact with NTPC to study geothermal reserves in the state, (it) may form a Joint Venture for the same," a state government official said. "Yes the talks are on with the government but nothing has been firmed up yet," NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhury told.

Geothermal power generation is harnessing the vast reservoir of heat energy stored in the earth's interior. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched an initiative to assess the potential of geothermal resources in the country.

It aims to harness these resources for power generation and for direct heat applications for space heating, greenhouse cultivation, cooking, etc. Many private power companies have evinced interest in exploiting this new and cleaner form of energy.

Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir), Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and the Andamans are considered potential areas and investments are being made there.

Studies for locating geothermal reserves in India have been on for over 30 years. The country's first geothermal power plant, with an initial capacity of 25 MW, is likely to come up in Andhra Pradesh.

The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between GeoSyndicate Power and Northern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh (APNPDC) was signed in 2010. NTPC is at present operating two thermal power plants in Chhattisgarh 2,600 MW Korba and 2,980 MW Sipat. The total capacity of the company is close to 40,000 MW.

(Agencies)


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