To invest Rs 1,174 cr; proposes cost reduction for Mumbai customers

Tata Power has proposed modernisation of its 500 MW Unit 6 at Trombay Thermal Power Station. At present, Unit 6 can operate only on oil and gas.

The modernisation plan includes addition of coal firing equipment and installation of pollution control equipment to make the unit work on coal, oil and gas, wherein all three fuels can be combined in any percentage. This is being done to control spiralling oil cost which is affecting tariffs in Mumbai, the company said. The proposed modernisation of Unit 6 will provide multi-fold benefits to Mumbai customers.

While it will improve utilisation of full capacity of 500 MW at best operating efficiency resulting in competitive, reliable and enhanced power supply availability, it will also reduce fuel cost and help lower tariffs for Mumbai customers.

Tata Power is to invest around Rs 1,174 crore for the modernisation exercise, which will not result in any additional pollution or emission in the Chembur and neighbouring areas. Moreover, no additional water or any other resource is being sought to operate the modernised plant, the company has said.

S. Padmanabhan, Executive Director at Tata Power, said, “We see costs of oil and gas rising and thus have proposed a modernisation plan which will help reduce costs and ensure higher utilisation of capacity.”

The company has noted that the dire need for modernisation has risen due to the unavailability of natural gas, which has resulted in Tata Power being dependent on expensive fuel like oil to run its Unit 6. However, a shortage of low sulphur oil from local refineries and spiralling prices of imported oil and gas, have led to significant escalation in the absolute cost of power generation from the unit.

Consequently, the 500 MW unit, which was previously operating at a best operating plant load factor (PLF) at 80 per cent, has been operating at around 50 per cent PLF for the past two years. This has necessitated modernisation, the company has said, thus ensuring additional option of coal firing.

(This article was published on December 17, 2012)
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