NTPC stops land acquisition for greenfield coal-based projects

In a big change in its business strategy, the country’s largest coal-fired power producer NTPC proposes to completely stop land acquisition for green field thermal projects and rather look for reducing its carbon footprint through aggressive renewable energy push.

“We have taken the decision not to acquire any further land for green field thermal projects in near future and the focus will be on reducing the carbon foot print,” NTPC chairman Gurdeep Singh said in a statement to the shareholders at a recently concluded AGM.

As part of its initiative to transform itself into a renewable player, NTPC has also decided to set up a separate green focused subsidiary.

By 2032, state-owned NTPC plans to add 32 GW of renewable generation capacity to its portfolio through organic and inorganic routes. Non-fossil fuel-based generation capacity will make up nearly 30 per cent of its portfolio, which, at present, is less than 10 per cent. Short term target is to reach 10 GW of renewable capacity up to 2022.

“In order to get access to large tracts of land for RE projects, discussions are in progress with state governments of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh for allocation of land parcels for setting up of renewable projects. These would be developed under Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Parks scheme of the government of India,” the company chairman informed the shareholders.

NTPC plans to become a 130 GW power producing company by 2032 investing over Rs 1 lakh crore ($14 billion) by 2024.

The capacity will have a diversified fuel mix of 65.4 per cent coal, 4.6 per cent gas, 1.5 per cent nuclear, and 28.5 per cent renewable energy, including hydel generation capacity. The firms’ total thermal generation capacity is around 57 GW, and the shift in focus is to ensure long-term sustainability.

Recently, it issued a tender to enlist engineering, procurement, and construction vendors for floating and ground-mounted solar projects in the country. It also floated a request for proposal to acquire 1 GW of operational solar projects across India.

The company has also invited interested entities to invest in setting up manufacturing parks in surplus land with it a operational power projects.