Jaypee’s hydro project in Himachal starts partial generation

June 6th, 2011 - 4:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Karcham (Himachal Pradesh), June 6 (IANS) India’s largest hydropower project in the private sector has started partial generation in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district, a company official said here Monday.

The Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Project, located some 200 km from state capital Shimla, has been made by the Jaypee Karcham Hydro Corp Ltd. It is a subsidiary of the Rs.20,000 crore Jaypee Group and this project should be fully commissioned by mid-August, he said.

“By mid-August, all four turbines of 250 MW each of the 1,000 MW Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Project would start generating electricity,” D.P. Goyal, project managing director, told IANS here.

The first turbine, made operational May 17, is daily generating more than 250 MW due to optimum water flow in the Satluj, the river on which the project is located, he said.

“The trial on the second unit is on and the unit is likely to be commissioned by June 15,” he added.

The work on the Rs.6,903.37 crore project began in April 2006 and was completed three months ahead of schedule.

“Earlier, the project was estimated at a cost of Rs.5,909 crore. But due to delay in getting environment, forest and techno-economic clearances, the project cost escalated,” Goyal added.

The company claims that the project, once fully operational, would annually generate 4,368 million units. The hill state is also entitled to get a royalty of 12 percent free power from the project for first 12 years and 18 percent subsequently.

The hydroelectric power generation in the hill state increases in summer as glaciers and lakes that are frozen in the winter months, start thawing and rains increase the water level in rivers.

During the peak generation period (from May to September), the company is planning to generate 20 percent more power than the original generation capacity.

“Since the turbines have the capacity to generate 20 percent more power, so we are planning to make optimum use of them from May onwards,” Parveen Kumar Singh, project director in charge, said.

To tackle the problem of excessive silt in the Satluj, which normally shuts down the hydropower projects especially during monsoon, Jaypee Karcham Hydro Corp Ltd has used tungsten-carbide hard coating technology.

The tungsten-carbide based material protective coatings, will significantly reduce the damage to underwater parts of the turbines, he said.

Four fully-coated spare turbine runners along with other parts prone to high damage have also been procured to minimize the downtime of the generating units, he added.

At present, the silt level in the river is 300 ppm (parts per million). During peak monsoon, the silt content reaches between 10,000 and 15,000 ppm, forcing the authorities to suspend power generation.

The company’s maiden project in Himachal, called the 300 MW Baspa Hydropower project, commenced commercial generation in 2003.

With the commissioning of the 1,000 MW Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Project, Jaypee Group’s total hydropower capacity will be 1,700 MW.

Its second operation project is 400 MW Vishnuprayag project in Uttarakhand.

In the Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Project, the company’s equity is 30 percent and the rest has been raised through loans.

Sources in the hydropower sector said the company will get a profit of around Rs.2,000 crore annually from the 1,000 MW project, once it is fully operational.

“It’s the most viable mega project in the state. The company is expected to recover the entire expenditure on the project within three to five years, if the project runs smoothly,” said an official with the state-run Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board.

The Karcham-Wangtoo run-of-the river project is located upstream of the 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri power project of the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL) — a joint venture between the central government and the Himachal government.

By the end of this year, the Group aims to have 2,200 MW generation capacity, including under-execution 500 MW thermal power of the 1,500 MW Bina thermal power project in Madhya Pradesh.

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