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Fire at Mettur thermal unit hits power supply

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Coal conveyor structure at Mettur Thermal power station destroyed by fire on Thursday. — E. Lakshmi Narayanan
Coal conveyor structure at Mettur Thermal power station destroyed by fire on Thursday. — E. Lakshmi Narayanan

A fire at the Mettur Thermal Power Station has hit power generation at the 840-MW unit.

One person was killed and one seriously injured in the fire that broke early this morning and lasted over four hours.

In a statement in the Assembly, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J. Jayalalithaa, said a fire in the coal conveyor system early this morning has crippled coal supply to the four thermal units. The coal available in the bunkers will keep the units going till this evening only. It will take over one month to set right the fire damage, she said.

The fire broke out at about 12.30 am and nine fire tenders were brought in to fight it. To compensate for the loss in power generation, alternative arrangements have been made to get about 750 MW of power. Efforts are on to restart some of the other thermal units that have not been in operation. These include one unit at the Tuticorin Thermal Power Station and one at North Chennai Thermal Power Station. Work has started on a war footing to start operations today. This will supply about 420 MW, the Chief Minister said.

Power will also be supplied from a 330 MW private power supplier at Pillaiperumalnallur, she said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 11, 2012)
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