The 660-MW (megawatts) first unit of the Talwandi Sabo power plant was lit up on Monday during the inauguration ceremony, but it may take a few months for it to actually start generating power.
Company sources said April 19, 2014, had been fixed as the date when the first unit would run full blast on coal. Monday's launch was done with furnace oil as insiders revealed that coal would start arriving at the plant only in December.
"We are expecting coal to start arriving at our plant from next month. For four months, we have decided to build our stocks," said a functionary of the Vedanta Group, which is building the plant, adding that it would be synchronised in the first week of December and start generating power to the optimum capacity of 660 MW by April 19. The total capacity of the plant is 1,980 MW. If everything goes well, the second and third units of the plant would be commissioned after a gap of three months.
To run one 660-MW unit, it requires 10,000 to 12,000 tonnes of coal every day. Coal to this plant is coming from the Mahandi coal fields of Odisha.
The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) was supposed to arrange coal linkages for the plant. As per the agreement with the Vedanta Group, 80% of the coal was to be arranged by the PSPCL. Later, due to countrywide coal scarcity the supply was cut down to 65% of the 80%, while 15% was allowed to be imported.
"As of now, we are getting 52% of our total coal requirement and the arrival of imported coal is still to be worked out," said a source in the Vedanta, adding that power would be generated in proportion to Punjab's requirement.