Committee set up to ascertain quality of Chinese plant, equipment

July 6th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Mejia (West Bengal), July 6 (IANS) The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has set up a technical committee to ascertain the suitability in Indian conditions of power plants and equipment provided by Chinese companies and study their quality, said a union minister here Sunday. “We know the products of Chinese power equipment suppliers are one of the cheapest globally. But we need to find out the quality aspect of the equipment supplied by them. The report will act as ready reference for companies wanting to award projects to them,” Minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh told reporters.

“We also need to find out if these equipment are fit for Indian conditions where ash content in coal is higher. Additionally, almost all generation units in China run at about 40 percent plant load factor (PLF) while Indian units run at almost 89-90 PLF,” he said.

The committee has been asked to submit its report in the next couple of weeks.

The government’s decision comes in the wake of the delay in two power projects in West Bengal after critical components of equipment supplied by Chinese companies mal-functioned.

West Bengal Power Development Corp Ltd’s (WBPDCL) new 300 MW unit at Sagardighi is still inoperational after cracks developed in its turbine blade supplied by China’s Dong Fang Electric Corp (DEC).

A new unit of the Durgapur Projects Ltd (DPL), set up with equipment supplied by DEC, also suffered damages to its critical components while in operation.

Ramesh said initial estimates showed about 16,000 MW of fresh capacity is being set up by various Chinese equipment suppliers in India. The figure is about 20 percent of the total capacity being installed in the country.

“We have no problems with Chinese equipment suppliers setting up manufacturing bases in India, But we are not too comfortable with direct imports of Chinese equipment,” Ramesh said.

Ramesh was here to witness ‘drum-lifting’ - physical installation of the boiler on a platform - of the 500 MW unit eight of the Damodar Valley Corp’s (DVC) Mejia Thermal Power Station.

The minister also witnessed achievement of 100 percent PLF for the 250 MW unit six of the Mejia plant.

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