PUNJAB – The dusk of thermal generation in state sector
PUNJAB – The sunset of thermal generation in state sector
Punjab is a power surplus state but the generation from state run thermal plants is going from bad to worse with the passage of each year due to lop sided policy of the state government.
The thermal plants of the state used to be a matter of pride for the state and now no one is bothered about their performance as state has committed to take all the power generated by private sector thermal plants in the state. The state neither is able to consume the surplus power available within state nor able to sell to the other power deficient states putting strong financial burden on the PSPCL. The private companies running the thermal plants in the state get fixed charges for the portion the company is allowed to generate power.
The downfall of three state run thermal plants started with the coming up of Rajpura thermal plant and Talwandi Sabo thermal plant in the private sector. The thermal plants of the state used to vie for the national awards awarded by government of India for their excellent performance but only one unit each at thermal plants is being operated for most part of the year.
The generation from 920 MW Lehra Mohabatt thermal plant 6664 million units (MU) in 2013 -14 with plant load factor(PLF) of 82.70% which came down to 4507 MU with PLF of 55.93% in 2014-15 has drifted further to3134 MU with PLF of 38.79%.
The fate of Ropar thermal plant is on the same lines. RTP generated 8005 MU in 2013-14 followed by 5751 MU in 2014-15 and 3959 MU in 2015-16.The PLF of the plant has come down to 50% for all the three thermal plants in a period of three years.
The generation loss from the three thermal plants during the last financial year due to forced outages was6508MU (Ropar thermal) 4258 MU (Lehra Mohabatt) and 2842 MU (Bhatinda).
Even in the current financial year the future of three thermal plants is not encouraging and their poor performances due to forced outages and to pave way for purchase of power from private developers will continue.
Central Electricity Authority has finalized generation target of 3800 MU for the year 2016-17 for Lehra Mohabatt followed by 4200 MU and 1100 MU for Ropar and Bhatinda thermal plants respectively. Even these targets fixed in consultations with PSPCL will not be met simply to purchase power from three private players .
The generation targets for private sector thermal plants at Rajpura and Talwandi Sabo are 7500MU and 5400 MU respectively. The total proposed generation in 2016-17 by private players is 12900 MU against state sector generation plants target of 9100 MU.