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NTPC Inks Deal With Bhutan For 600 MW Hydel Project

State-run generation utility NTPC, which has coal-and-gas-fired plants, signed an initial agreement with Bhutan government for construction of a 600 MW reservoir-based hydel project on the Amo Chhu river in the neighboring country, media reports said.

The project is to be built under the inter-government arrangement between the countries. India has to take up many projects on fast track with an investment of Rs.50,000 crore as it is committed to developing projects totaling a capacity of 10,000 MW by 2020 in Bhutan. The country needs to invest Rs.4,500 crore annually till 2020.

The country imports over 1,000 MW of power from Bhutan at concessional rate from three projects namely Chukha, Kurichu and Tala developed with a total capacity of 1,416 MW. These projects were funded by India through 60% grant and 40% soft loan under inter-government arrangement.

The agreement was signed by NTPC chairman R. S. Sharma and Bhutan's ambassador Maj Gen Vetsop Namgyel in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck last week.

NTPC entered the hydel sector a few years ago and is targeting to add 9,000 MW capacity from such units by 2017. The company is developing hydel projects in Uttarakhand with a total capacity of 2,000 MW.

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