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The Coal Ministry has agreed to Odisha´s proposal to allocate an alternative coal block to Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (OPTCL) for its 2,400-MW coal-based power plant proposed near Dhenkanal. OPTCL is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC).
Earlier, the ministry had provided the Tentuloi coal block for the OTPCL project. But since Tentuloi is an underground coal block, it was unsuitable for the power project, despite its reserves of 1,234 million tonnes (MT). The Odisha government has been repeatedly appealing to the ministry to scrap the Tentuloi block and, instead, offer an alternative block to cater to OTPCL´s requirement. During a recent meeting, Odisha´s Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das reiterated the demand for an alternative coal block.