Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's dream of turning Punjab into a power-surplus state is expected to become reality in 2013, as the first unit of the 540-MW Sri Goindwal Sahib Thermal Plant, a venture of the Chennai-based GVK Group, would commence generation on March 15.
The first unit will generate 270 MW of power and for the flow of the electric current generated, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has already sanctioned a 12,000-KV double circuit connection line.
Sukhbir's dream will move a step further when the second unit, also of 270 MW, would commence generation on May 31. This would complete the first phase of the Goindwal Sahib thermal plant, seven months ahead of schedule. The cost involved in the first phase is around Rs 3,000 crore.
The dream will become complete reality as after the Goindwal plant, the other two thermal plants, at Rajpura and Talwandi Sabo, will also commence generation in 2013.
This information was conveyed to Sukhbir Badal, who visited the place on Wednesday to review the progress of the thermal plant, which is expected to change the economic profile of this backward region of Majha. He was shown around the plant and was happy to see that thousands of workers were working day and night for turning Punjab into a power-surplus state.
Plant general manager Oliver Tyagi informed the deputy CM that the plant was almost 90% complete. He said erection, procurement and construction (EPC) of the project had been awarded to Punj Lloyd and the rest of the work, including boiler-turbine-generator work, had been awarded to BHEL.
The GM also informed Sukhbir that the engineering work on the plant had been completed while work on the boiler-turbine-generator and the EPC was nearing completion. All construction work was being done on a war footing and around 30% of it was yet to be completed.
He informed the deputy CM that the company had a captive coal mine at Tokisud North sub-block in Jharkhand and the plant would get dedicated supply of coal from its own mine.
Speaking about the expansion plan of the project, the GM said that the company had already signed an MoU with the government for setting up an additional 1,320-MW capacity plant at a cost of Rs 7,200 crore. He said that with the expansion, this plant would produce 1,860-MW power and the combined cost of the first and second phases would be around Rs 10,200 crore.
The GM said that for the second phase the company had not yet got the coal linkage clearance from the Centre. Once the clearance was given, the second phase would take around three years to complete, he said.
Expressing satisfaction over the construction of the project, Sukhbir asked power secretary Anirudh Tiwari and Powercom chairman KD Chaudhary to monitor the progress of the project on a weekly basis. Both the officers accompanied the deputy CM who flew in after inspecting the work at the Talwandi Sabo thermal plant. From here he flew to Rajpura for reviewing the work of the thermal unit coming up there.
Later, answering the queries of the media, Sukhbir said he believed in time-bound execution of mega projects and completion of all three thermal plants in 2013 would silence his critics.