The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) project of modernisation of its power plant has been delayed by more than two years. The prolonged outage of Bhakra units has caused heavy losses to the board in terms of power generation and revenue.
As per information, the project of addition of 90 MW power by increasing the present capacity of 108 MW to 126 MW of each of five units was initiated in 2010. The capacity of this power house was set to increase from 540 MW (5x108 MW) at present to 630 MW (5x126 MW), but the project has been delayed.
The contract for renovation, modernisation and upgrading (RMU) was awarded to a consortium of M/s Sumitomo-Japan, Hitachi-Japan and Andritz-Austria, at an approximate cost of Rs 490 crore. The RMU of five machines is being executed in a phased manner and were expected to be completed by March 2013. However, so far, only two out of the five machines, have been upgraded and that, too, with a delay of more than three years.
Unit 2, which was shut down in April 2010, was supposed to be re-commissioned in November 2010. However, it was done in July 2013 - after 39 months of outage.
Unit 5 was supposed to be completed in seven months and commissioned on July 22, 2010, but it actually took 34 months and was completed in October 2013.
Similar is the fate of Unit number 4, which is yet to be completed for modernisation. It was then shut down from November 22, 2013 and still has not been commissioned even after 16 months.
As per the All India Power Engineers' Federation (AIPEF), the BBMB suffered losses of around Rs 70 crore during 2012-13 due to outage of both units, which were earlier of 108-MW capacity (increased to 126 MW each).
"An additional generation of the order of 350 MU (million units), valued at Rs 70 crore has been lost till date on account of delay in re-commissioning units 2 and 5," said Padamjit Singh, president of the AIPEF.
Thus, since the project was initiated, the management had caused a loss of Rs 200 crore to the BBMB.
"It is seen that whereas the project covering all five units was to be completed by March 13, as of today , only 2 units have been uprated and here, too, there is problem of runner cavitation which has not been resolved", he said in a letter written to Piyush Goel, Union Minister for Power and Coal.
Despite several attempts, BBMB chairman AB Agrawal could not be contacted.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a board official admitted that the delay in the operation of these units has led to losses in power generation as well as revenue.