Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kaniha, Sep 19:
Had the Odisha government foreseen the impending power crisis scenario in the state, it would have not turned down the offer made by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to provide an additional 500 MW of power to the state while entering into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the former.
As per the PPA signed with the state government, NTPC had agreed to supply 523 MW power to the state daily. However, it is providing 100 MW less power to the state after the temporary closure of one of its units. Odisha is thus getting only 423 MW power instead of its allotted 523 MW quota.
Odisha has been reeling under an acute power crisis partly due to temporary closure of two units of NTPC in Angul district for annual overhauling resulting in a shortfall of 160 MW power to the state from these units.
While unit one, having an installed capacity of 500 MW in NTPC-Kaniha, has remained shut down for annual overhauling since the first week of this month, another 60 MW unit in Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) went for routine maintenance resulting in an overall shortfall of power supply to the state.
TTPS generates 460 MW of power daily of which there is shortfall of 60 MW power and the state is getting 400 MW. Overall short supply of 100 MW from NTPC and 60 MW from Kaniha unit has lead to a shortfall of 160 MW power to the state.
A senior official of the power corporations said it hopes to resume normal power supply from the first week of October.
Notably, unit I of the 3,000-MW NTPC-Kaniha plant requires 55, 000 metric tonnes of coal per day to generate power. It feeds coal from MCL’s open cast mines in Kaniha, Lingaraj and Talcher mines, besides coal imported form Australia and Indonesia.
Presently, it has a stockpile of 10 lakh metric tonnes of coal to continue its operations, which can sustain for 15 days, a top official said.
It may be mentioned here that NTPC supplies power to 15 states, including Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Puducherry. The stage II project has four units having a combined capacity to generate 2000 MW power. During power purchase agreement, NTPC had assured the state government to provide an additional 500 MW of power from this unit. However, the government had turned down the offer citing no requirement at that time.
The state government buys power from NTPC at Rs 2.25 per unit. However, it is reluctant to purchase power at 3-4 times higher rate from other states.
As per sources, NTPC’s Kahalgaon unit in Bihar and its Farakka unit in West Bengal have surplus power.
The state government can purchase power from these units to overcome the crisis situation arising out of deficit rainfall in the state this monsoon. Instead, it has resorted to load shedding to over four hours a day across the state to deal with the shortfall, experts said.