Updated: July 11, 2021 8:20:54 am
PUNJAB HAS two government-owned (1,760 MW) and three private thermal plants (3,920 MW) which have the potential to generate a total 5,680 MW of power. However, in the past 11 days (since June 30), three plants developed technical snags five times. Add to this other factors: dry spell and agriculture load. As a result, power regulatory measures have been imposed on industry while domestic consumers are also facing the heat in urban and suburban areas. Undeclared cuts ranging from 2-4 hours are being imposed in these areas, said sources.
A private thermal plant located in Talwandi Sabo has the capacity to generate 1,980 MW, but as of now is generating only 330 MW. One of its three 660 MW units has been out of order since March-end and was not repaired even before paddy season. A second unit developed a fault on July 4 and finally, the third unit developed a fault on July 7. As of now, the third unit is producing only 330 MW of power. The plant was also served a penalty notice on July 4 on account of hardships being faced by people of Punjab.
A Venuprasad, chairman cum managing director (CMD) of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) said: “Yes, Talwandi Sabo Power Limited (TSPL) units are facing problems. It seems their plant, built with Chinese technology, is facing technical faults and thus not able to deliver. But we are buying power from outside. “
Guru Gobind Singh Thermal Plant (GGSTP), Ropar, is another plant owned by the PSPCL, which is regularly facing trouble. The plant developed technical snags twice since June 30. It has six thermal units each with a capacity of 210 MW and hence has potential to produce 1,260 MW, but its units 1 and 2 with a capacity of 420 MW are lying closed for the past two years. The government says that they have grown old but the Punjab State Electricity Board Engineers’ Association asserts that they can be revived. The rest of the units are working. But unit 3 developed a fault on June 30, and came back in operation on July 2. Moreover, unit 5 of the Ropar plant developed a fault on July 8 and it will be back on July 10, according to Ravi Kumar, chief engineer, GGSTP, Ropar. As of now, out of 840 MW power generation at GGSTP, 630 MW is being generated. Another unit had developed a fault on June 24 and was repaired in two days’ time. Hence, Ropar thermal is facing technical snags on a weekly basis in one or the other units. “GGSTP is an old plant and has old technology and hence is facing troubles,” said the CMD.
Guru Hargobind Thermal plant (GHTP), Lehra Mohabbat, in Bathinda district is also PSPCL owned. It has a capacity of 920 MW and is generating to full capacity. “It had developed a technical snag in one of its thermal units generating 210 MW for four hours on Thursday. Now all four units are fully operational.”
The private thermal plants — GVK Goindwal Sahib and NPL Rajpura thermal — are generating to their full capacity of 540 MW and 1400 MW respectively.
On the hydel front, 150 MW from Ranjit Sagar Dam and 100 MW from Mukerian hydel are not being generated due to low water levels, said the CMD. Sources said that the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) is also generating less due to low water level and 40 per cent of its share goes to Punjab.
Hence, with all the technical snags, Punjab is facing a shortfall of more than 2,500 MW, which is being compensated by imposing power regulatory measures.
However since July 7, domestic consumers are also facing the heat as on an average, two hours of power cut is being observed in urban areas and four hours in suburban areas. Ludhiana witnessed power cuts in a similar pattern on July 8 as well as on July 9, as did Bathinda and Mansa. The CMD however said, “There are no cuts in domestic area, it must be some local fault.”
Punjab had an availability of 12,680 MW of power as on July 9, which it is supplying to consumers after imposing all regulatory measures including the unscheduled power cuts on domestic consumers. On July 10, PSPCL supplied 12,500 MW of power to the masses.
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