PM launches two major projects

The foundation-stone laying ceremonies for the two major projects were held at Kochi and Kayamkulam in Alapuzha district respectively, but the theme of Dr Singh's addresses on both occasions was that central investments in the state were set to witness a jump in the coming years.

The prime minister, who renamed NTPC's new power station as 'Rajiv Gandhi combined cycle power project', announced plans to set up a re-gasification terminal at Kochi at an investment of Rs2,300 crores, to provide the source of fuel for the Kayamkulam plant. He said that the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) would, in association with the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, study the feasibility of a gas cracker complex.

The complex will be a global-scale plant requiring an estimated investment of Rs7,000 crore.

Laying the foundation stone for the Vallarpadom ICTT at the Kendriya Vidyalaya ground in Willingdon Island in Kochi, Dr Singh said the project would be a role model for private-public partnership, blending efficiently private sector managerial efficiency and marketing acumen with public sector capital and infrastructure planning. Kayamkulam is expected to be biggest LNG power plant in the country.

He said that the United Progressive Alliance Government gave maximum priority to infrastructure development, including that of ports. Stating that the nation proudly joined Kerala in celebrating its first global hub terminal, Dr Singh said he was particularly happy to fulfil a long-standing promise on the project that would change the future of the state.

The Kayamkulam power station will add 1,950mw to its capacity. The investment for this would be Rs6,600 crore. Dr. Singh highlighted the importance of the plant for South India as a whole while addressing the state's problem of power shortages.

The proposed gas cracker complex would be a model of partnership between two public sector enterprises in launching a mega investment project. It would require an investment of Rs7,000 crore to produce 6,00,000 tonnes of ethylene and 1,50,000 tonnes of propylene a year. It would provide direct employment to 500 people and indirect employment to thousands of people in small-scale ancillary industries based on polymer plastics.