The New Delhi-based Teesta Urja was formed in 2005 with a mission to commission the 1,200 MW (6X200 MW) Teesta Stage - III Hydro Electric Project in a shortest possible time so that optimal benefits are accrued to the beneficiary states as well as to the state of Sikkim. The project is a run-of-the-river scheme in the North Sikkim district and utilises the available gross head of 800 m. As per the current shareholding structure of the company, the project is a State Government Enterprise with Government of Sikkim holding 51 per cent majority stake through its investment company i.e. M/s Sikkim Power Investment Corporation (SPICL).
This project is a part of overall development of Teesta basin being undertaken by Sikkim Government. The project is designed to generate 5,214 million kWh (units) annually in 90 per cent dependable year.
The power generation potential of the Teesta Basin is estimated to be 7,046 MW. The power potential of Teesta river itself is planned to be harnessed through a cascade of six hydro projects and the third stage of this cascade is the 1,200 MW, Teesta - Stage III hydro electric project - the biggest of the six schemes.
Final Environment Clearance for the project was received from Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOE&F) on August 04, 2006. All the statutory clearances for the project were received by November 2007 and the civil works were started in January 2008.
The project which faced a seven-year delay, resumed work in October 2015 and has synchronised all the six units by March 2017. The Central Electricity Regulatory Authority (CERC) has approved an interim tariff of 4.8/unit for two years. PTC has entered into long term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) agreement for this project for 800 MW, which is likely to begin from 2018-19. In the meantime the company is selling the power on short term basis. 'This will add to the long term volumes of the company going forward,' said Teesta Urja in its recent report.
Key success factors
Teesta Stage III is the largest hydroelectric project under construction in the joint sector in India. With a height of 800 m, it is one of the most investigated projects of India, studied by agencies such as CWC/CEQ/GSI/NHPC and TUL. The project uses components that are mostly available underground with minimum impact on the environment. Its size does not lead to any resettlement or rehabilitation issues. Sikkim being a peaceful and investor-friendly state, its people are pro-development leading to smooth implementation of the project.
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