M A I N   N E W S

Talwandi Sabo thermal plant to miss deadline
Commissioning of Unit I delayed by 10 months
Umesh Dewan/TNS

Patiala, May 15
The commissioning of the 660-MW first unit of the Talwandi Sabo thermal plant scheduled for November 30 would be delayed by 10 months.

Plant developer Sterlite Energy Limited has, in a letter, attributed the delay to non-signing of the fuel supply agreement (FSA) and non-availability of coal. But internal reports of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) as well as independent investigation carried out by The Tribune reveal that various electrical and civil jobs are running behind schedule.

The current pace of work is expected to delay commissioning of the unit beyond August 8, 2013, the new deadline set by Sterlite Energy.

The matter assumes significance in the light of the fact that during the recent Assembly elections, the SAD-BJP leadership claimed that Punjab would get the first thermal unit later this year, which would mark the beginning of a “power surplus era” in the state. However, with no other under-construction thermal plants to be commissioned in the next 10 months, hopes of the power consumers of the state have been dashed.

The 1,980-MW Talwandi Sabo thermal plant was awarded to Vedanta Group Company M/s Sterlite Energy Ltd on ‘built own and operate’ (BOO) basis and the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in this regard was signed between the developer and the erstwhile Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) on September 1, 2008.

As per the PPA, the first unit was to be commissioned by August 31, 2012, and later the deadline was revised to November 30, 2012. But now, the Talwandi Sabo Power Limited (TSPL) has written a letter to the PSPCL stating that August 8, 2013, would be the new date for the commissioning of the first unit.

One of the major deadlock between the PSPCL and developer is now on the issue of the signing of the FSA. While the PSPCL contended that the FSA has to be signed between the coal supplier and the developer (Sterlite), the developer has conveyed the power corporation that as per the PPA, the power procurer (power corporation) is supposed to sign the agreement with the coal supplier.

Another crucial issue is that according to the Sterlite communiqué, the assured domestic coal supply for the thermal plant will be sufficient only for one unit as M/s Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) has committed to provide 50 per cent assured coal supply from domestic coal and balance from the imported sources.

Subsequently, the developer has sought confirmation from the PSPCL that the cost of imported coal to be supplied either by the MCL or procured by the TSPL will be reimbursable and secondly the PSPCL should arrange the deficit in supply of coal, if any, to run the plant at its ultimate capacity. Now, according to the experts, this particular issue will directly impact the commissioning of the plant and the cost of power is bound to increase.





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