Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 9:
The Odisha government has urged the Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Authority (CEA) not to execute the proposal to phase out four old thermal units of NTPC Ltd with a combined capacity of 250 Mw at its Talcher Thermal power station (TTPS).
The CEA has proposed the retirement of the four units (4X62.5 mw) during the 12th Plan period since they are old units commissioned during 1967-69. If that happens, the state would lose 250mw of power that the TTPS supplies to Gridco under the power purchase agreement of April 1995. The NTPC has also taken massive modernisation and renovation works with an investment of Rs 750 crore to run the stage I of this plant.
“Over the years, NTPC has undertaken massive renovation and modernisation works of TTPS under various phases with a capital expenditure to the tune of Rs 750 crore, which has already been approved and capitalised by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) up to 2014 and the said amount is in the process of realisation by NTPC from Gridco through tariff. The CERC by its order dated June 19, 2002 has extended the useful life of TTPS for 20 years i.e. up to March 31, 2021”, said Energy additional secretary Sangramjit Nayak in a letter to the chief engineer (data management & load forecasting division), CEA.
The letter said that after the renovation and modernisation works of TTPS, the station has been consistently running at a PLF (plant load factor) of 90 per cent and above and operating parameters have noticeably improved over time.
The government argued that TTPS is considered a reliable source of dedicated power to Odisha owing to its geographical location in the vicinity of coal mines.
“In view of the above facts, it will not be prudent to concede the retirement of Stage-I units of TTPC during the 12th Plan as proposed by CEA as huge fund has been invested in the renovation & modernisation (R&M) of the units. Therefore, CEA and Union ministry of power are requested to see that the capital expenditure made so far in R&M are fully utilised and the benefit of the same is being passed on to the consumers of Odisha up to 2021 as approved by CERC”, said the letter.
The retirement of old thermal units is as per the National Electricity Plan (2012-17) wherein 4,000 Mw capacity has been identified to be retired, mainly non-reheat type coal-based units, lignite and gas-based units. These units are to be retired in a phased manner during the 12th Plan period (2012-17).
Presently, the NTPC TTPS has a capacity of 460 Mw. While 250mw is being generated in phase I, the phase II (2X110) was commissioned in 1982-83.
The plant was transferred to NTPC by erstwhile OSEB in 1995.