Sambalpur: Mahanadi Coalfield Ltd.(MCL), a subsidiary of  Coal India Ltd.(CIL) is proposing to firm up a  joint venture with public sector generating company NTPC Ltd to set up a 1,600-MW pithead plant with an investment of Rs 13,000 crore in Odisha’s Sundergarh district.

Sources in the MCL said that the Odisha based coal company  has plans to promote the plant with 51% stake. It will , however, handover the management of the plant to its partner NTPC. The power plant would supplied coal from Basundhara area in Sundergarh district, having reserves of 6.8 billion tonne. The annual coal extraction from this mine is set to touch 40 million tonne per annum in the coming years.

The CIL’s new chairman AK Jha, who was the CMD of MCL before his recent appointment as the boss of CIL, is, in fact, the initiator of this proposal.

Negotiations are going on between the two government companies for the joint venture. MCL wants to retain 51% stakes as all the licenses are with the MCL’s name.

Mahanadi Basin Power Ltd, a fully-owned MCL subsidiary, has the approval of the Odisha government’s High Level Clearance Authority (HLCA), the apex body for investment approvals in Odisha.

MCL has pegged its expenditure in 2018-19 at Rs 9,500 crore. However, if the pithead power project came through, the expenditure would go up by another Rs 1000 to 2000 crore.

Like the MCL, the Central Coalfields Ltd.(CCL) too proposes to set u a pithead power plant at North Karanpura in Jharkhand.