Friday, April 23, 2010

Come 2012, Bangaloreans can expect 24x7 power

Come 2012, Bangaloreans can expect 24x7 power

Rohith BR and MK Madhusoodan. Bangalore

In two years, Bangalore can expect uninterrupted power supply. Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) has promised to make this a reality. KPCL managing director SM Jaamdar said on Thursday, "We are issuing work orders to build infrastructure for the Bidadi gas-based power plant in the city outskirts, (with a capacity of 1,400 mw), in July. The unit would be commissioned by March 2012, when the Dabhol-Bangalore gas pipeline would be a reality." Jaamdar added that the unit, worth Rs4,000 crore, would be dedicated to Bangalore's power needs.
Sources in the KPCL told DNA that the diesel-based power unit in Yelahanka, with capacity of 127 mw, would also be converted into a gas-based project. Power from this would also be utilised for Bangalore. "With these two units, and another gas-based plant of 2,100 mw in Tadadi near Karwar also becoming operational in around two years, Bangalore need not worry about power," said a senior official from KPCL.
Meanwhile, KPCL is shedding its dependence on hydel power plants. It has decided to go for thermal and gas-based units to generate 8,200 mw of power, with an outlay of Rs40,481 crore. "Of the total 8,200 mw of power planned, 4,700 MW would come from coal-based thermal plants and 3,500 MW from gas-based plants," said Jaamdar.
In addition to these, the KPCL has already started three thermal power projects in Raichur and Bellary, with total capacity of 3,100 mw. "These projects will offer a solution to the severe shortage of electricity. By August-September 2010, the work on the Chhattisgarh thermal power plant project, with 1,600 mw capacity, will also begin," said Jaamdar. In addition to this, the KPCL is also planning to generate 775 mw of power from hydro units and 39 units from wind farms to increase total capacity to 9,000 mw in coming years.
Jaamdar claimed that the state has saved Rs470 crore after abolishing the coal washing contract. "The contract, entrusted to three north Indian firms from 2003-04 to 2008-09, cost KPCL Rs3000 crore," he said. Coal available for power generation to thermal units in India is not of good quality. Under directions from the Centre, the state government in 2003 started awarding tenders to wash coal loads and then return them to thermal units. Those responsible for the washing were making money, siphoning off stocks in the name of 'rejected lot'.

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