Punjab power crisis deepens as another unit of Talwandi Sabo plant goes out of operation
Another unit of the Talwandi Sabo thermal plant went out of operation on Sunday due to a boiler problem, worsening the ongoing power crisis in Punjab.
One of the units of the plant is already under shutdown since March 8. Now, the plant is generating only 610 megawatt (MW) electricity against the installed capacity of 1980 MW, causing a shortage of nearly 1,200 MW.
The non-functioning of the second Talwandi Sabo plant unit (660 MW) is likely to worsen the power situation in Punjab once restrictions imposed on the industry and other consumers are lifted. The power demand without restrictions and 8-hour supply to the agriculture sector has already crossed 15,000 MW.
On Saturday, the power demand in the state was 13,067 MW against a supply of 12,979 MW. The supply on Sunday was around 12,500 MW amid complaints of unscheduled cuts in rural and urban areas across the state. The demand also came down due to light rain in parts of Punjab.
With imposition of restrictions, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is managing to supply 8-hour electricity to farmers, allowing the industry to operate at 30 percent of installed capacity. The state government may extend weekly off for industrial units for few more days or till arrival of the monsoon.
The industries are already protesting against the forced closure of their units, leaving thousands of laborers without wages.
All units of the Ropar and Lehra Mobabbat plants were running till Sunday, generating around 1600 MW power.
Three private plants are contributing 2,450 MW power, 850 MW is coming from hydel projects while the remaining is from the renewable energy sources. The corporation received around 7,300 MW, including short-term purchases, from the northern grid.
Penalty notice issued to plant: PSPCL
The PSPCL on Sunday said it has issued a penalty notice to the Talwandi Sabo plant not making operational one of its units which is shut since March 8.
Corporation chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) A Venu Prasad said they repeatedly directing the plant management to make 3 of its units operational in the paddy season but it failed to do so.
The PSPCL has asked the plant management to explain as to why capacity charges should not be deducted for the entire contract year (2021-22) considering shutdown of its unit that caused hardships to the people of Punjab.