PSPCL to set up 1,320-MW power plant at Mukerian | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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PSPCL to set up 1,320-MW power plant at Mukerian

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has taken in-principle decision to set up a super-critical thermal-based power plant at Hajipur in Mukerian town of Hoshiarpur district. Recently, a team of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) had cleared the project site. The acquisition of 900 acres is expected to start soon.

chandigarh Updated: May 31, 2013 00:50 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has taken in-principle decision to set up a super-critical thermal-based power plant at Hajipur in Mukerian town of Hoshiarpur district.

The PSPCL is in the process of creating a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Mukerian Powers Limited, which would kickstart the project. The proposed power-generating capacity of the plant has been fixed at 1,320 mega watts (MW). The corporation is hopeful of rolling out the first unit (660 MW) by 2018.

Recently, a team of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) had cleared the project site. The acquisition of 900 acres is expected to start soon.

Deviating from the trend of setting up thermal plants by involving private companies, the PSPCL has decided to execute the project on its own after almost a decade. It was in 2004 when the erstwhile Punjab State Electricity Board (later unbundled) started working on stage-II of the Lehra Mohabbat project.

The PSPCL is already running three state-owned thermal power plants at Rupnagar (1,260 MW), Bathinda (440 MW) and Lehra Mohabbat (920 MW) with a collective generating capacity of 2,620 MW. The Mukerian project would raise the capacity to 3,490 MW.

It was a long-pending demand of PSPCL engineers to have an in-house thermal power project instead of getting it executed through private companies.

When the Punjab government started planning private-sector thermal power plants at Talwandi Sabo (1,980 MW), Rajpura (1,400 MW) and Goindwal Sahib (540 MW) five years ago in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode, engineers from the erstwhile PSEB objected to the move and said in-house expertise was available to build super-critical thermal plants.

"We feel we should add in-house power-generating capacity in the state sector also," said a top official of the PSPCL, adding that engineers and technicians in the corporation should gain experience of super-critical technology.


New coal block sought

To feed the proposed thermal power plant at Mukerian, the PSPCL has sought a coal block from the union coal ministry. Seven million tonnes of coal are required for the project. The PSPCL has a coal mine in Pachwara (Jharkhand), from where it gets 5.5 million tonnes of coal every year and feeds 60% of the needs of three state-owned thermal plants.