Punjab power pangs to stay, Talwandi Sabo thermal plant to remain shut till June-end
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Punjab power pangs to stay, Talwandi Sabo thermal plant to remain shut till June-end

Big jolt ahead of paddy sowing season; 1980 MW plant out of operation since April 18 after fire incident; PSPCL may now have to buy power under short-term power purchase agreement, a costly affair

punjab Updated: May 10, 2017 20:05 IST
Vishal Rambani
Vishal Rambani
Hindustan Times
Talwandi Sabo,thermal plant,power
(HT Representative Image)

Ahead of the crucial paddy sowing season, the Talwandi Sabo thermal power plant has given a jolt to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL), as the unit will remain shut till June-end, causing a shortfall of 1980 MW in generation.

This huge shortfall has forced the PSPCL to rework its plan to meet the peak demand, as paddy sowing starts around June 10 and the power demand peaks in Punjab during this period.

The PSPCL, which is planning to sell electricity outside the state, may now have to buy power under the short-term power purchase agreement, which is a costly affair.

The Talwani Sabo plant, owned by Vedanta group, is out of operation since April 18 when a fire broke out in the unit. In the incident, the coal handling unit and conveyor belt at the plant was damaged completely.

Anticipating high demand and lower generation within Punjab, the PSPCL has booked a corridor in northern grid to procure 600 MW power in June. Besides, the PSPCL is exploring the possibility of bringing power through banking from Odisha, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, which remain power-surplus during summer.

As an emergency measure, the PSPCL has started operation of its own thermal plants, which were earlier shut as private plants were meeting the state’s power demand, apart from the allocation of power from the central sector.

To meet the exigency, the PSPCL has already written to the Union coal ministry to enhance its coal supply to Punjab, so that it can generate maximum power from its own units. Due to non-operation of its coal mine, the PSPCL is banking upon coal supplied by Coal India Limited.

‘NO POWER o power cut in state’
  • Punjab power secretary and PSPCL chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) A Venu Prasad on Wednesday said despite the increase in power demand with rising temperatures, PSPCL has sufficient power to meet the requirement of all categories of consumers in the state.
  • He said there is no power cut in the state. “Power outages occur at some places in the state either due to maintenance work or breakdown due to unavoidable reasons,” he added.
  • Prasad the PSPCL has made elaborate preparations for the ongoing summer and upcoming paddy season. He added that PSPCL has the sufficient coal stock to meet the power requirement in the state.
  • Prasad directed all officers and employees of PSPCL to remain vigilant and work more vigorously for providing “uninterrupted and reliable” power supply to all consumers.

“To begin with, the Talwandi Sabo plant came up after a huge delay. Later, the plant was found using poor standard coal, causing additional 45 paisa per unit in generation cost. And now, when the crucial paddy season has approached, the plant management has said that the unit would be made operational by June-end,” said a PSPCL official.

“The loss of nearly 2000 MW in peak summer is shocking for us. This forced us to redraw our plan to meet the rising power demand. This will cause a burden of short-term power purchase,” he said.

  • GNDTP, Bathinda: 460 MW
  • GGSSTP, Ropar: 1,260 MW
  • GHTP, Lehra Mohabbat: 500 MW
  • PEDA: 826 MW
  • L&T Rajpura Thermal Plan: 1400 MW
  • GVK, Goindwal Sahib: 540 MW (non-operational)
  • Talwadi Sabo: 1,980 MW (Shut down because of fire)
  • NON-OPERATIONAL: 1980+540=2,520 MW
  • AVAILABLE POWER: Around 11,000 MW
  • PEAK DEMAND IN SUMMER: Above 12,500 MW

Meanwhile, power secretary and PSPCL chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) A Venu Prasad said, “PSPCL has taken measures to tackle any shortage. An additional booking of corridor in northern grid has been made to bring 600 MW power during summer. Besides, talks are on to get 1,000 MW power in summer through banking, which we will return in winters”.

He said, “The government is committed to providing 8-hour power supply to paddy growers from June 10 onwards.”

He added that if needed power will be purchased for short term to meet the demand and to ensure regular supply to domestic and industrial consumers.

He said PSPCL has already set a record by supplying 1,600 lakh units (LUs) on May 8.

First Published: May 10, 2017 19:50 IST