(EnergyAsia, March 17 2011, Thursday) — US-based engineering company Black & Veatch (B&V) said it will design Reliance Power’s 100-billion-rupee combined-cycle power plant in Samalkot town in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. (US$1=45 rupees).

With an initial capacity of 2,500 megawatts (MW) and possible future expansion to 3,600 MW, B&V said the plant will be the largest of its kind in India, producing enough energy to power more than two million homes and support economic development across the region. B&V said construction work has started with completion scheduled for early 2012.

The company said the plant will provide much needed additional power generation capacity for India’s southern grid. Recent media reports suggest that electric supply shortages in the region resulted in a 30% to 35% production loss for the manufacturing industry in 2010. 

The natural gas-fuelled facility consists of three 833-MW power blocks, each consisting of two 9FA GE natural gas combustion turbines, two heat recovery steam generators and one steam turbine.

Mohan Tahiliani, vice president of B&V’s global energy business, said:

“The power sector has one of the most important roles in the development of a country. The availability of reliable and affordable power is critical for India’s sustainable economic development.

“This is a very fast-track undertaking. In awarding us this project, Reliance has demonstrated confidence in B&V’s ability to meet complex challenges with quality output in an efficient and timely manner.”

Headquartered in Kansas City in the state of Missouri, B&V is a global engineering, consulting and construction company specialising in infrastructure development in energy, water, telecommunications, management consulting, federal and environmental markets.

Founded in 1915, the employee-owned, US$2.7 billion company operates out of over 110 offices worldwide and has completed projects in more than 100 countries.

Mumbai-based Reliance Power Ltd, a part of Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, is India’s leading private sector power generation company. The company has an operating portfolio of over 1,000 MW and is implementing power projects with aggregate capacity of over 37,000 MW.

Reliance Power also has the largest captive coal reserves in the private sector, estimated at more than two billion tonnes. The company has purchased three coal mines in Indonesia and plans to develop coal-bed-methane-based generation capacity.