Energy consultancy NTPC has expressed an interest in operating a coal-based thermal power plant with a capacity of 4,000MW in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan.

The move is part if its strategy to increase coal supply for the Indian power sector and to make a mark in the country.

The 4,000MW GRES-1 plant located in Kazakhstan is owned by Kazakhmys Plc, a global natural resources company. The plant was acquired by Kazakhmys from AES Corporation and had a total installed generation capacity of 43,000MW.

Kazakhmys proposes to overhaul the plant to improve efficiency and increase utilisation.

The Central Asian country has major coal reserves containing approximately 37.5 billion tons of bituminous and anthracitic coal.

The chairman of NTPC, RS Sharma, said the company will focus on obtaining the contract for reconstruction and maintenance of the GRES-1 power station.

NTPC accounts for 23,895MW of power generation capacity from its coal-fired thermal power plants. The company imports around 8 million tons of coal with a projected total coal requirement of around 125 million tons annually.

The company said it intends to import 15 million tons of coal annually from Kazakhstan and intends to enter into a swap agreement for the import of coal through a third country closer to India.