Tamil Nadu power crisis may ease

June 4th, 2011 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, June 4 (IANS) The acute power crisis in Tamil Nadu may ease a bit this year with a unit of a power plant near here likely to start generation in November.

A 500 MW unit at the plant at Vallur will undergo trial runs starting this month. The company owning the plant, with three units of 500 MW each, is a joint venture between NTPC and Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB).

The state is experiencing a power shortage forcing scheduled power cuts of one-two hours, including in state capital Chennai. The average power deficit is around 2,500 MW.

According to a policy note of the state government’s energy department, the total installed capacity, excluding renewable energy sources, is 10,214 MW including the state’s share from the central pool. The average power demand for projected to be 2011-12 is 14,224 MW and for 2012-13 it is projected to be 15,517 MW.

“We are working towards lighting up of the unit I of the power plant boiler this month and the final synchronization with the grid will be in November,” Jainender Kumar, executive director for project management with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), told IANS.

Power equipment major BHEL won the boiler, turbine and generator (BTG) as well as the coal handling contract for the three units and the total order value from the project is around Rs.4,140 crore.

According to Kumar, the project’s second unit was facing delays in civil works as there was seepage of water at the foundation level.

“We are working out revised schedule. The second unit is not expected to go on stream this year. We have to work with NTPC on the modality of cracking the problem,” Kumar said.

Work on the Rs.290-crore coal handling system will be completed by October, Kumar added.

According to him, the third unit will go on stream in 2013 and the huge boiler drum was already at the site.

Queried about the company’s Rs.4,650-crore order from TNEB to set up two 600 MW thermal units at North Chennai Thermal Power Station, Kumar said the first unit was expected to be completed by January 2012.

“The second unit is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2012-13,” he said.

He said the project got delayed owing to financing problems on the part of TNEB and the labour issues at the site.

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