Indian state hopes Umtru plant is step toward power surplus exports

India’s eastern Meghalaya region received a much-needed boost to its power supply with the formal commissioning of the 40-MW Umtru plant earlier this week.

Data from the state’s government shows it once produced a surplus of energy, though increases in demand have rendered its 190 MW of cumulative capacity — all of which is produced by hydroelectric sources — inadequate.

Now, however, it is the state’s hope that Umtru and others being developed by owner Meghalaya Energy Corp. Ltd. could help make the state an exporter of energy to nearby Bhutan.

“The power sector is the most important sector,” state Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said during Umtru’s inauguration ceremony. “It not only provides power to consumers, but also helps sustain or livelihood and augment revenue in the state.”

Umtru was one of a number of projects included in a 2015 World Bank assessment that looked to create a strategy for increasing hydro in the Brahmaputra River Basin, which stretches from China through India, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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