Cochin International Airport ventures into hydro energy production

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on October 24, 2021

CIAL hydro power plant constructed across Iruvazhinji River at Arippara near Kodenchery, Kozhikkode

The airport company to commission first hydel project at Iruvazhinji River near Kozhikode

After achieving the status of world’s first airport fully powered by solar energy, Cochin International Airport Ltd has ventured into hydro power production.

CIAL estimates an annual power generation of 14 million units through the plantconstructed across Iruvazhinji River at Arippara near Kodenchery in Kozhikkode. The power will be fed to KSEB grid from the first week of November.

The power plant will be commissioned by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on November 6.

The 4.5 Megawatt peak (MWp) run of the small hydro project (SHP) was awarded to CIAL by the Power Department of the State Government as per the Kerala Small Hydro power policy under Built-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) for a lease period of 30 years.

CIAL has started the construction work of a weir across Iruvazhinji River and hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical systems. Even after being affected by the pandemic, the airport company completed the project in September and the trial run has begun in October.

The company has purchased five acres of land from 32 residents and the total project cost is ₹52 crore. The powerhouse will generate around 1.08 lakhs unit of power a day during peak flow days and it is estimated that the plant could be operational in full capacity for 130 days in a year.

Arippara hydroelectric project by CIAL is considered as biggest project after achieving power neutrality of the Airport in 2015. “We are sure that, the project will impart further momentum to set up such hydro projects across the State which has 44 rivers and numerous streams “, said S Suhas, Managing Director, CIAL.

“The potential of renewable energy is immense. If we use our technological imagination, we can work on to set up joint ventures to harness the light of the Sun, the power of the wind, and the strength of rushing streams, and to be more productive and more efficient in the ways we use energy, and we can create a better future’’, he said.

The involvement of VJ Kurian, former Managing Director was another factor that helped CIAL to implement Government’s policy on energy production and management, Suhas added.

“Being a project with the majority of civil works to be done along the river banks, the works were severely affected during the two devastating floods of 2018 and 2019. A lot of additional precautions had to be taken by modifying the designs and also by introducing additional retaining structures to ensure safe working conditions for the labourers,” he said.

Published on October 24, 2021

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