Govt begins work on four new ultra mega power projects

PowerPlantNew Delhi: Government has started the process for setting up four new ultra mega power projects in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha, which will together add 16,000 MW capacity to the country’s power generation.

UMPP is a thermal power project of at least 4,000 MW capacity, with an approximate investment of Rs 25,000 crore.

Power Finance Corporation, the nodal agency for ultra mega power projects (UMPPs), in consultation with the state government has commenced work on these projects.

According to an official, two UMPPs have been proposed in Odisha, one in Bihar and Jharkhand each.

“Land for the proposed project in Jharkhand has been acquired. In the case of two UMPPs in Odisha and one in Bihar, the respective state government has identified sites,” the official said.

These UMPPs are being planned even as the bidding process for two such projects — Bedabahal (Odisha) and Cheyyur (Tamil Nadu) is yet to conclude. The price bids for these proposed plants is yet to be submitted after which the UMPPs will be awarded.

NTPC, Tata Power, NHPC, Adani Power, JSW Energy, Jindal Power (an arm of Jindal Steel and Power), Sterlite Infraventures, CLP India and Larsen & Toubro had submitted applications for the Odisha project.

NTPC, Adani Power, CLP India, GMR Energy, Jindal Power, JSW Energy, L&T and Sterlite Infraventures had submitted bids for the Cheyyur UMPP in Tamil Nadu.

The final price bids for these two UMPPs may open next month.

So far, four UMPPs have been awarded. Of this, Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand) have been bagged by Reliance Power. Tata Power is operating the Mundra UMPP in Gujarat.

Courtesy: PTI

Power plays truant in Gaya

Gaya: With power availability hovering between 0-18 MW for the better part of Friday and Saturday against the requirement of 60 MW, acute power crisis, the worst in recent past, gripped Gaya. Nearly half-a-million Gayaites squirmed in bed in sultry weather conditions as long power cuts and frequent trippings made night virtually unbearable. Patients and shoppers were the worst victims as power played truant.

The crisis also impacted water availability as both the municipal water supply system and groundwater pumping in non-service households suffered hold-ups. The locals cursed India Power, the franchise holder, as the company had earlier assured uninterrupted and quality power supply to nearly 1,00,000 power users of domestic and non-domestic categories.

When contacted, India Power AGM (administration) Rakesh Ranjan attributed the present phase of the crisis to non-availability of adequate power. The company has the franchise for power distribution only and there was no local fault or any other distribution-related problem, said Ranjan. The responsibility for making power available was that of Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Limited and India Power was only entrusted with the distribution aspect of power supply. Power Holding Company officials, according to Ranjan, attributed the crisis to the snags developed in some NTPC units. India Power will see to it that the power users have to face no problem on account of any lapse on the company’s part, he added.

Referring to the perception that India Power was responsible for the present phase of the crisis, India Power AGM said the company would reach out to the users and explain the situation. Asked about the mechanism to directly reach the power users, the AGM said that he had received suggestions about bulk SMS to the power users to update them on the situation and alert/inform them in advance about problems, if necessary.

The India Power official hoped that with the removal of the snags in the NTPC units, the power situation will soon improve. Ranjan did not give any specific deadline for the restoration of complete normalcy. “Power users have high expectations from the company and the company will do everything possible to fulfill their expectations,” he said. The India Power official claimed that the response time for local fault repair has drastically been curtailed and well-equipped teams of the company are engaged in providing round-the-clock emergency service and equipped vehicles are stationed at the West Church Road point for quick response.

Courtesy: TNN

Siemens bags order worth Rs 52 crore from NTPC

barh-power-projectMumbai: Engineering and electronics conglomerate Siemens has bagged an order worth Rs 52 crore from NTPC for supply of Distributed Control System to their power plant in Bihar. 

“The order is for supply of state-of-the-art Distributed Control System (DCS) for its 4×210 MW power plant located in Bhagalpur, Bihar and the scope of the project includes the supply, erection and commissioning of control and instrumentation for the complete power plant,” the company said in a statement. 

Siemens Limited has also been the equipment supplier for three of NTPC’s super thermal power projects – 3×660 MW Super Thermal Power Project at Nabinagar, Bihar; 2×800 MW Super Thermal Power Project Stage-I at Gadarwara, Madhya Pradesh; and 2×800 MW Super Thermal Power Project Stage-I at Lara, Chhattisgarh. 

“NTPC has been an esteemed long-term customer of Siemens and together it has delivered sustainable solutions for India’s power generation needs. 

“We look forward to more such partnerships in the future,” Siemens Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Sunil Mathur said in the statement.

Courtesy: PTI

Goods train derails in Bhagalpur

goods-train-derails-in-biharBhagalpur: Eight wagons of a goods train derailed on the Rajmahal – Bhagalpur railway line in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district today.

Eight wagons of the goods train jumped off the track at a place between Jungle Gopali and Badalbaba locations, about 5 km from the NTPC power plant at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district, Assistant General Manager T Gopal Krishna said.

A team was constituted to find out the reasons behind the incident,he said.

The train was carrying coal from Lalmatia coalmines of of Jharkhand to the NTPC power plant, Railway officials said.

Railway traffic on the route was hit for a couple of hours due to the incident.

Courtesy: PTI

NTPC to set up another power project in Bihar

ntpcThe state government decided to set up three power projects in the state through private-public partnership

The state run NTPC is all set to get another power project in Bihar. This 1.320 MW project would be set up through a joint venture company with the PSU and the state government’s power production company.

The project would be situated in Lakhisarai district of the state. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will lay the foundation stone for this project on Saturday.

In the joint venture company, the NTPC would own 74 percent, while the rest of the shares will belong to the state government.”We have been trying very long for this project,” said one of the senior officials of the Energy department, “However, our continuous efforts have not gone into vain and finally the NTPC have been chosen for this project.”

The state government decided to set up three power projects in the state through private-public partnership (PPP). The next year, the state government chose three sites for these proposed projects in Bhagalpur (Pirpainti), Bauxar (Chausa) and Lakhisarai (Kajra).

The earlier two proposed projects have already been awarded to Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) and NHPC. “This was the last remaining project and this was awarded to NTPC through a completely transparent process. Only PSUs were allowed to participate in the bidding process. Still we get a lot of response, and finally NTPC was selected.”

According to the state government officials, oil and gas major, ONGC, had also shown interest in this project.

Courtesy: Business Standard

Bihar to get 5k MW by 2015

barh-power-projectPatna: Bihar is likely to get 5000MW power by 2015 end. Currently, the demand has gone up to 2300MW in the state. The state government has reiterated its commitment to make the state self-sufficient in power within the next two years.

By March 2014, the state would start getting an additional 330MW power from one unit (stage-II) of NTPC’s Barh thermal power station.

According to official sources, to improve power scenario in the state, electricity poles, wires and transformers are in the process of being replaced with new ones in 71 towns.

Sources said super grids would be installed at Lakhisarai, Gaya, Banka and Darbhanga which would help the state in getting power from any grid in the country. “We are moving from zero to self-sufficiency in spite of the fact that the state is facing odds on availability of coal from the Centre,” said an official.

The state government has set a power availability target of 5,300MW by 2015. This includes the current central allocation of 1,800MW. “The state government hopes that the NTPC’s Barh unit will be ready by 2015, from where the state has been allocated 1,200MW. Apart from this, the state’s own power generation units at Muzaffarpur and Barauni would also be ready by then. We expect 800MW from these units,” an official said.

“The state government has also signed long-term power purchase agreements with various private players, which would give us another 1,000MW. We are also buying 200MW from Adani Power. We are getting 100MW from DVC. Then, there are several other projects which will help along the way. We are confident that we will be self-sufficient in power by 2015,” said a senior official of the Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL).”

He also claimed that Bihar will be a power surplus state by the year 2020. “Our promises are for 2015, but we are aiming beyond that. We want to have power generation of 16,000-17,000MW by 2020,” said an official. “The Nabinagar project, a joint venture between Bihar government and NTPC, is on track,” he said.

The Union government has also given its nod for setting up an Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) at Kakwara in Banka district, from which Bihar will get its share of 2,000MW in another five years.

The state government has already signed an MoU with PowerGrid to set up a joint venture for revamping, strengthening and augmenting the transmission network.

Courtesy: TNN

TPE, Power Machines delay Barh project in Bihar

barh-power-projectThe project’s first unit is now expected to go online only in November 2015, a delay of more than two years.

New Delhi: Even after state-owned NTPC Ltd extracted revised deadlines in 2011 from Russia’s JSC Technoprom Export (TPE) and Power Machines for the Barh project in Bihar, the equipment vendors have been delaying supplies, according to several people familiar with the developments.

The project’s first unit is now expected to go online only in November 2015, a delay of more than two years, according to new estimates by NTPC.
This will affect the commissioning of the first stage of the project that’s to have a capacity of 1980 megawatt (MW), enough to meet around half the power demands of Delhi. According to the new estimates, the first stage being developed by the Russians may only be completed by March 2017 as against the earlier date of September 2014.
The first phase of the project became embroiled in a controversy after India’s Central Bureau of Investigation concluded that TPE breached its contract to supply boilers for the three units of 660MW each for Rs.2,066 crore. The government, in the interests of India’s relationship with Russia, brokered a compromise between NTPC and TPE.
“The supplies are not coming. Even the drawings are not being released. This after the Russians agreeing to the revised deadlines for a project that has been long overdue,” said a senior NTPC executive, requesting anonymity. “We have taken up the issue with the government, which in turn has taken it up with the Russians.”
The dispute had become a test of India’s ability to balance commercial and diplomatic interests with Russia as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had helped hammer out a deal with the Indian government.
The Barh project has a total planned capacity of 3,300MW. Of this, the second stage of the project with a capacity of 1,320MW is being constructed by state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd and is expected to be fully operational by September 2014.
According to the revised timeliness agreed upon for the Barh project, the first unit of 660MW was to be commissioned by September 2013. According to NTPC’s estimates, however, this is now only expected to be commissioned by November 2015. The second 660 MW unit, which was to be commissioned by March 2014, is now estimated to be completed by July 2016. The third 660 MW unit may only be completed by March 2017 as against the earlier agreed date of September 2014.
“The NTPC board was ready to terminate the contract. It was only after a Presidential directive that a compromise was reached,” said a former NTPC board member, requesting anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue.
Another NTPC executive, who also didn’t want to be identified, confirmed the delays and said even the envisaged schedules on “best effort” by March 2017 was “unlikely”.
“We want them to expedite the submission of drawings,” said the second NTPC executive.
An NTPC spokesperson didn’t respond to Mint’s query emailed on 30 December; TPE and a TPE representative in India also didn’t respond toMint’s query emailed on 31 December.
Queries emailed to Power Machines also remained unanswered.
The genesis of the TPE controversy dates back to February 2005 when the Russian firm won a contract to supply boilers to NTPC’s 1,980MW Barh project.
But work on the project stalled soon, with TPE demanding more money for the equipment citing higher steel prices. The Russian firm wanted an extension and removal of the 20% cap on price escalation. TPE had allegedly violated the terms of the contract by engaging an agent, Raveena Associates.
According to documents reviewed by Mint, the delays were due to financial constraints faced by the Russian firm and a team from TPE had visited Barh in September last year.
Experts say both consumer and strategic interests should be protected.
Anil Razdan, former power secretary, said, “While I have always valued a strengthened relationship with Russia and their friendship, in the event of anything being done beyond the contractual agreement, any grant if it needs to be given should be given by the appropriate ministry in the government of India, which nurtures strategic relations with Russia. The onus of additional contractual cost beyond permissible limits should not fall on NTPC or the power consumers.”
NTPC had extracted firm completion deadlines from TPE and Power Machines for the Barh and Sipat (in Chhatisgarh) thermal power projects.
“While the Sipat project is complete, with only the PG (performance guarantee) test left, the problem is with the first stage of Barh project. Bhel has already commissioned one 660 MW unit of second stage,” said the first NTPC executive cited earlier.
“We have been talking with TPE as they, in turn, have sub contracted some work to Power Machines. Even a team from Russia had visited the site, but nothing much has come out of it,” the executive said.
Courtesy: LiveMint

Bihar govt allots Rs 720cr to purchase electricity

Struggling hard to to improve the power scenario in Bihar, Nitish Kumar government has approved the proposal for allotment of Rs 720 crore for purchasing electricity from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

 It also sanctioned another Rs 380 crore for the Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) to purchase additional power, taking the total allocation for buying power to Rs 1100 crore, official sources said today.

The state would buy power from NTPC at the rate of Rs 180 crore per month, from December 2011 to March 2012.

The cabinet gave its consent to pay Rs 6.54 crore to the Bihar State Hydro-electric Power Corporation (BSHPC) as state’s share in the 7 MW minor hydro-electric project at Ararghat (Madhepura), they said, adding administrative approval for the project, estimated to cost Rs 65.44 crore, had already been secured and NABARD had approved Rs 58.89-crore loan for it.

Courtesy: Money Control