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Fuel, grid issues hit DVC's capacity addition roadmap during 11th Plan

Pratim Ranjan Bose Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 10, 2012




Early in the Eleventh Plan period, Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) rolled out nearly Rs 20,000-crore programme to step up thermal capacities by nearly three-fold to 7420 MW by March 2012. As the deadline nears, the statutory organisation has put in place hardly half of the proposed capacities.

Worse, sources suggest that in the absence of adequate power evacuation facilities, coal and even water, the corporation is not in a position to run some of the freshly commissioned units, in full capacity.

According to sources, out of a total of nearly 5000 MW capacity addition programme during the Eleventh Plan period (2007-12), DVC has so far commercialised 1500 MW.

While DVC sources blame power gear makers for the delay in commissioning of the rest, key equipment suppliers confirm that one unit of 500 mw at Mejia could not be operationalised due to non-availability of coal as the corporation's captive mining plan in West Bengal got substantially delayed. The commissioning of two more units of 500 MW each in Durgapur in West Bengal and Kodarma in Jharkhand were delayed due to lack of water, coal and even basic infrastructure.

“There was no water to test-run a unit in Durgapur for nearly a year. In another case, there was no railway line to transport coal,” sources in a power gear supplier told Business Line.

While DVC is now gearing up to operationalise the 2X500 MW greenfield Durgapur Steel Thermal Plant between January-March 2012, sources doubt if the corporation is in a position to fully utilise the added capacities due to inadequate power evacuation infrastructure and lack of coal.

Although they admit the infrastructure bottleneck, DVC sources say they are expecting the Power Grid Corporation to complete the due projects in next couple of months. Coal crisis is also expected to be mitigated soon.

However, this is not the end of the problem. The 2X600 MW Raghunathpur power plant at Purulia also in West Bengal is inordinately delayed. The EPC contract for this project was awarded to Reliance Energy in December 2007.

“There were some designing issues with regard to this project, requiring reconstruction of some key plants. The project is now on progress,” a source said.

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Published on January 10, 2012
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