NTPC's 750 MW Assam project may miss deadline

Pratim Ranjan Bose Kolkata | Updated on January 24, 2011 Published on January 24, 2011

Delay in completion of civil works by SPML Infra blamed

NTPC may miss the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) commissioning targets for the proposed 750 MW (3 X 250 MW) Bongaigaon thermal power station in Assam, according to sources.

The Rs 3,750-crore project is making slow progress apparently due to delay in completion of civil works by SPML Infra (formerly Subhash Projects and Marketing Ltd).

Little progress

Conceived in 2007, two units of 250 MW each of the project were scheduled to goon stream in 2011-12. According to sources in Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), the power equipment vendor has erected one boiler and work is on for the second. However, the turbines could not be installed as related civil construction was not done.

“We were ready to commission the boiler-turbine-generator package in time. We have installed the boiler of the first unit. However, we could not test it as water was yet be made available. We have already transported most of the equipment to the project site, however, turbines could not be installed as the “turbine-generator hall” was not ready, a BHEL source told Business Line.

NTPC officials admit that the commissioning programme of the project was affected due to delay in execution of civil works by SPML. “For expediting project execution, we have decided to offload the balance civil works of Unit-II & III at the risk and cost of SPML,” an NTPC official said. The power major had invited tenders in this regard.

According to NTPC sources, according to the revised commissioning targets set by the company, one 250 MW unit is scheduled to be on stream by March 2012. Commissioning of the residual capacity is expected during the Twelfth Plan period (2012-17).

Sources close to the development, however, feel that setting up even one unit during the current Plan period would be a steep target as nearly 80 per cent of the civil works of the first unit itself has to be completed.

SPML refused to comment on the issue. However, sources close to SPML blamed the political volatility of the region, resulting series of bandhs, strikes, threats from extremist organisations as well as heavy rains for delaying the company's construction activities.

Adverse conditions

“The project is located at Salakati in Kokrahjhar in Assam, which is the heart of Bodoland and productivity in any month never exceeds more than 10 days during a heavy rainy season. Annual productivity for construction does not exceed 6 months,” a source said.

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Published on January 24, 2011
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