Tangedco on Friday signed an agreement with Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) for a 10,453 crore loan for setting up two 660MW thermal units at Udangudi in Tuticorin district. Though the project was announced in 2008, work on them was delayed on account of a pending case in Madras high court, between Bhel and Chinese consortium, that finally came to an end last month. “The loan agreement is for 13 years and at the rate of 9.75 % interest per annum. Work on the two units with a capacity of 660MW each has now started with Bhel acquiring land to the extent of 1,046 acres. We will have to get clearance from the forest department alone, other works will start immediately,” said a senior Tangedco official. The agreement was signed in the presence of state power minister P Thangamani, Tangedco chairman M Saikumar, power secretary Vikram Kapur and REC chairman P V Ramesh. “We have sought a date from chief minister K Palaniswami to lay the foundation stone for the two units after Pongal festival,” said the official. Tangedco chairman and directors lauded REC for their support in developing the power sector in the state. The huge loan assistance from REC as per the MoU will ensure timely implementation of these projects. “Such huge investment will not only improve the power infrastructure of state utilities, but also improve their financial as well as operational performance,” said Ramesh. This is the fourth order for supercritical sets finalised in the last three years by Tangedco and all the four orders have been bagged by Bhel. The previous three orders 2x660MW Ennore SEZ, 1x800MW North Chennai Supercritical TPP Stage-III and 2x800MW Uppur thermal units were also secured by Bhel on International Competition Bidding (ICB) basis. With Udangudi in its pocket, Bhel has a significant share of 83% in the state’s coal-based generating capacity and has been a major partner in the power development programme of Tamil Nadu. The two units are set to be commissioned in 2021, a delay of more than a decade. A new sub-station is being set up in the area to evacuate the power generated from the two units.