Each of these UMPPs would have capacity of 4000 MW & are being taken up at a total investment of Rs 60,000 cr

After zeroing in on sites for establishment of two more Ultra Mega Power Plants (UMPPs) in the state, the Odisha government is keen to have a detailed assessment of private land needed and people to be displaced by these projects.

Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL), which had announced to close down its alumina refinery in Odisha from December 5 for want of bauxite, may go for a temporary shutdown of the facility in a day or two, much before the due date.

With no immediate supply of bauxite in sight, the company said, it will be compelled to shut the refinery for 10-15 days, latest by Friday. “Going by our current stock of bauxite, we will not be in a position to run the refinery after a day or two. Then, we have to take a painful decision to shut our refinery plant for 10-15 days.

2 yrs have elapsed since state had demanded free power in Sep 2010 but Centre is yet to respond

Odisha is sore over the Centre's apathy towards its demand for allocation of free power from coal-fired power plants and power generated from coal washery based rejects. Two years have elapsed since the state had demanded free power in September 2010 but the Centre is yet to respond. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union minister for power for allocation of free power.

Days after sending a notice to the Odisha government on September 6, seeking temporary closure of its one million tonne refinery at Lanjigarh, Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL), a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc has sought ban on bauxite exports from the country.

The company is struggling to keep its refinery operations afloat with the plant running at barely 50 per cent capacity amid deepening uncertainties in bauxite availability. VAL has not been allotted any mine in Odisha and fully depends on external bauxite supplies to run its refinery.

Investments worth Rs 2500 crore are expected to flow to Odisha in the renewable energy sector during the 12th Plan Period (2012-17). The state has targeted capacity augmentation of 350 MW from solar, wind and bio-mass sources during this period.

“By 2017, we expect to have new capacities in solar energy (150 MW), wind energy (100 MW) and bio-mass generation (100 MW). The state regulator has fixed Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) according to which state utilities have to buy or generate at least five per cent green power”, said D N Gupta, secretary (science & technology).

Odisha and Kerala are set to tie up for setting up a 1,000 MW pit-head coal-fired power plant close to the Baitarani west coal block under Talcher coalfields in Angul district. The power project is estimated to cost Rs 4,500 - Rs 5000 crore.

The Baitarani west coal block with reserve of 600 million tonnes has been jointly allocated to Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC), Gujarat Power Corporation (GPC) and Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).

Odisha expects to get additional revenue of Rs 1000 crore from the proposed forest development tax (FDT). The FDT is set to be levied at the rate of 15 per cent on sale value of minerals raised on forest land.

"The finalization of FDT will need an inter-departmental consultative process involving the departments of forest & environment, steel & mines and law. The FDT Act has to be amended. There is a possibility of showing minerals raised from forest land as non-forest produce as 200 out of 600 mining leases have a mix of forest and non-forest land. A mechanism has to be worked out to check this”,

Investors may be offered 50% rebate on land cost besides other sops

Odisha, which is looking to diversify its investment basket beyond core metallurgical industries, has readied the draft of its proposed auto component policy to woo investors in the sector. With such policy already in vogue in peer states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Haryana and Karnataka, the Odisha government does not wish to miss out on the huge potential offered by the buoyant auto component sector.

With the Rs 28,000-crore refinery project of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) at Paradip under a cloud of delay, the Odisha government has decided to ink an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the oil marketing firm to stipulate timeline and milestones for commissioning of the project.

IOCL being the anchor tenant for the PCPIR hub (Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region) to be set up in 70,214 acres of land spread over Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts, the timely commissioning of the refinery was vital for attracting investors for the mega investment hub.