Any shutdown will take at least a year

A senior official in the power department said the government is looking at running the Bawana plant at full load.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published: April 13, 2015 1:35:50 am

The Delhi government is open to the idea of closing down the existing and “old” power plants but is fretting over when to do it. Power minister Satyendra Jain thinks it will take a year to do so. With no alternative power plants ready to replace the old ones, a phased-out closure is being considered.

A senior official in the power department said the government is looking at running the Bawana plant at full load. “What is also required is the upgradation of network capacity at Maharani Bagh-Ghazipur circuit and augmented facility for bulk power in the circuit,” the official said.

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Meanwhile, the power minister is reportedly finding it hard to understand the discoms’ reasons for the rate at which Delhi gets power.

“The electricity exchange provides electricity to other states at Rs 3.49 per unit. Punjab got it at Rs 3.90 and Delhi got it at Rs 7 per unit. I am unable to understand this,” Jain said.

Jain said he had suggested to the discoms in the first meeting with them to shut down the plants that have become obsolete in technical terms. The suggestion also includes retiring these plants and diverting the resources to make Bawana operational.

“There are three power plants that are working at 20 per cent efficiency and, out of those, two are very inefficient. I suggested that we should divert the energy to Bawana gas plant. Badarpur plant is 35 years old and a lifetime of a power plant is not more than 25 years,” he said.

But the minister knows that shutting down these plants immediately is not a good idea.

“Rajghat power plant supplies electricity to Chandni Chowk area. Similarly, Badarpur provides power to South Delhi. It will take a year or so for us to shut these plants,” Jain said.

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