With the signing of the fuel supply agreements (FSA) for two thermal-electricity plants, the 1980-megawatt unit at Talwandi Sabo and the 1,400-MW project at Rajpura will start operating within this year, enabling Punjab to become a power-surplus state, the dream of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The opposition parties have criticised the government over delay, but now the plants will attain criticality indeed by December. In the 2007 assembly election campaign, Sukhbir had promised to make Punjab power surplus in three years. It took almost seven years but it's going to be achieved finally.
"I assure you with authority that the first units of both plants will be operational by the end of this year and Punjab will be power surplus," KD Chaudhri, chairman and managing director (CMD) of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) said here on Saturday.
Chaudhri described it a significant milestone for the Talwandi Sabo and Rajpura projects that the way for their continuous operation was clear. The FSAs will give Talwandi Sabo more than 77-lakh tons of coal a year from Vasundhra Coal Field Mines in Sambalpur, Orissa; and Rajpura 55-lakh tons a year from the mines at Raigarh and Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh.
Both plants use the supercritical technology to generate more electricity for the same amount of coal and less pollution. "The Talwandi Sabo plant is expected to start generating energy by the end of November and the first unit of the Rajpura project is likely to be commissioned in the first week of December," said Chaudhri, adding it would help PSPCL trade power in the country's energy exchanges.