First offshore wind energy project in Gujarat

The country’s first offshore wind energy project in Gujarat, increasing power generation capacity by over 3,600 mega watts (MW) and creating a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to develop the Mandal-Becharaji Special Investment Region (SIR), are among the provisions made for infrastructure and energy sectors in the state budget.

Finance Minister Nitin Patel presented the budget for 2013-14 in the Assembly Wednesday.

“Our energy generation capacity increased by 3,579 MW in 2011-12. In the ensuing year, we are planning to increase it by 3,665 MW,” said Patel in his budget speech.

The government will also be expanding the power distribution network by establishing 120 new sub-stations and laying 3,249 circuit kilometres of new transmission lines at the cost of Rs 2,172 crore.

About 40 of these sub-stations will be in tribal areas. In the clean-energy sector, the government has planned to set up “an offshore wind energy project” claimed to be the first-of-its-kind in the country.

The budget also targets to establish 20 MW of solar power project on Narmada canals. Currently, the state has 1 MW of power generated on the canal network.

The budget also proposes to add 100 CNG stations to the existing network and build a third LNG terminal in the state.

“Two LNG stations in the state are working effectively. There is a plan to build one more LNG terminal at Mundra (Kutch) with a provision of Rs 50 crore,” Patel said.

“We have a gas grid network of 2,152 kilometres. There is a plan to extend the network by further 800 kilometres,” he added.

The special purpose vehicle for the Mandal-Becharaji SIR, which which will house Maruti Suzuki’s new car manufacturing plant, will be created in partnership with the Gujarat Industrial Corridor Company, the Regional Development Authority for SIR and the Centre’s Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC).

“A provision of Rs 500 crore is proposed for the share capital in the said SPV,” Patel said.

Besides, the government has made a provision of Rs 3,272 crore for providing support to supply electricity at reasonable rates to farmers for irrigation and to citizens for domestic use.