Kolkata: German KfW Development Bank has agreed to give a soft loan of Rs 600 crore to West Bengal power utility for the first phase of a 125MW solar park project in Purba Medinipur district, Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said.
The project to be executed by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL), on completion, will double the state’s installed solar capacity in the state, he said.
The 15-year loan will carry an interest rate of 0.15 per cent and cover 80 per cent of the total project cost of Rs 750 crore.
“For the first phase of the 125 MW solar park at Dadanpatra in Purba Medinipur, the major cost is being funded by the KfW totalling Rs 600 crore at a marginal interest rate of 0.15 per cent. We will fund the rest. The total project is of 200 MW,” Chattopadhay told PTI.
The project will require 1,000-acre plot of which 600-acre has been arranged and the rest is in the process of acquisition, he said. The WBSEDCL will pump in Rs 150 crore as equity. The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) has given its clearance for the loan from the German state-owned development bank.
Asked whether the project is facing delay due to COVID-19 pandemic, the minister said, cyclone Amphan and coronavirus-related disruptions had pushed the project but the state was trying for laying the foundation stone for the plant before Durga Puja.
The company has issued an expression of interest (EoI) for engineering, procurement and construction of turnkey PV solar power plant.
Currently, West Bengal has an installed capacity of producing 131 MW solar power through various small projects and rooftop solar photovoltaic projects in schools and office buildings.
In March 2020, the West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd (WBPDCL), the states thermal power generating company, had floated a tender for 10 MW grid-connected floating solar photovoltaic power plants in Sagardighi Thermal Power Project (SGTPP), Murshidabad at an estimated cost of Rs 60 crore.