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Power generation Self-sufficiency goal still distant dream for State

By Ajit Patowary

GUWAHATI, Jan 18 - Power consumers of the State will have to wait beyond 2025 for a major power supply-related relief. This is the view of the sources who are in the know of the developments in the State�s power sector. They also maintain that attaining self-sufficiency in power generation remains a distant dream for the State.

The progress made in setting up State�s major power generating stations is awfully slow. And if work in this area goes at such a pace, the ratio between generation and demand will become lopsided one for a fairly long time. It is estimated that by the year 2020, the State�s power demand would cross 2,200 MW and by 2025, it would touch 6,000 MW. �

Last summer, the State�s peak-load-hour power demand was around 1,850 MW, against the State�s own generating capacity of 371.2 MW. Nevertheless, the actual generation of the State varies between 213 MW and 284.5 MW, which is only 15 per cent of the demand.

Public sector Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd (APGCL) has now five power generation stations � 99.5-MW Namrup Thermal Power Project (NTPS); 97.2-MW Lakwa Thermal Power Station (LTPS); 70-MW Lakwa Replacement Power Project (LRPP); 100-MW Karbi Langpi Hydroelectric Project (KLHEP) and 4.5-MW Myntriang Small Hydroelectric Project (MSHEP) Stage-II. These projects generate between 57 per cent and 76 per cent of their installed capacities.

Construction and other works of the APGCL�s 100-MW Namrup Replacement Power Project (NRPP); 9-MW Myntriang Small Hydroelectric Project (MSHEP) Stage-I; 120-MW Lower Kopili Hydroelectric Project (LKHEP); 70-MW Amguri Solar Power Project and 154-MW Namrup Solar Power Project is on.

Though open cycle of the NRPP-I was expected to be commissioned in next April, collapse of the project�s roof has delayed it. Construction activities of this project started around 10 years back. The MSHEP Stage-I is expected to start generation of 6 MW of power by next summer. If everything goes on smoothly, it is expected that the generation of the LKHEP could be started by 2025. The bidding process for the Amguri Solar Power Project is expected to be completed by February 25, 2019. But the Namrup Solar Power Project is still in the detailed project report (DPR) preparation stage.

The APGCL projects in the pipeline are � the Rs 234.56 crore 24-MW Borapani Middle-II; Rs-700 crore, 100-MW Namrup Replacement Power Project Phase-II and Rs 16,416.26 crore, 1600-MW Margherita Thermal Power Plant.

The Borapani Middle-II project DPR has been prepared and the process of obtaining statutory clearances from government departments is on, while confirmation of gas linkage is awaited from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for the NRPP Phase-II.

The coal-based 660-MW Margherita Thermal Power Plant is in jeopardy. Its installed capacity was enhanced to 1,600 MW in 2016-17 as per the wishes of the then APGCL Chairman. This raised the project cost to a whopping Rs 16,416.26 crore. Besides, Union government is not keen on setting up new coal-based thermal power plants because of environmental concerns. The State government is also not pursuing the matter vigorously. Coal linkage for the project is not yet obtained.

Process for securing gas linkage to NRPP-II is going on, but at a slow pace. Its commissioning date 2025 is, however, expected to be met.

The APGCL has two long-term gas grid-based projects � the 250-MW gas engine-based project at Chandrapur, with a gas requirement of 1.3 MMSCMD and the 725-MW gas turbine-combined-cycle project at a Lower Assam location. The estimated cost of the first one is Rs 1,875 crore, while the estimated cost of the second one is Rs 5,075 crore.

It is feared that the Chandrapur gas-based project may not see the light of the day. Same is the case with the Lower Assam gas-based project. Because, in the 721-km-long gas grid, which is proposed to link the State with the National Gas Grid, power sector has not received top priority.

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Power generation Self-sufficiency goal still distant dream for State

GUWAHATI, Jan 18 - Power consumers of the State will have to wait beyond 2025 for a major power supply-related relief. This is the view of the sources who are in the know of the developments in the State�s power sector. They also maintain that attaining self-sufficiency in power generation remains a distant dream for the State.

The progress made in setting up State�s major power generating stations is awfully slow. And if work in this area goes at such a pace, the ratio between generation and demand will become lopsided one for a fairly long time. It is estimated that by the year 2020, the State�s power demand would cross 2,200 MW and by 2025, it would touch 6,000 MW. �

Last summer, the State�s peak-load-hour power demand was around 1,850 MW, against the State�s own generating capacity of 371.2 MW. Nevertheless, the actual generation of the State varies between 213 MW and 284.5 MW, which is only 15 per cent of the demand.

Public sector Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd (APGCL) has now five power generation stations � 99.5-MW Namrup Thermal Power Project (NTPS); 97.2-MW Lakwa Thermal Power Station (LTPS); 70-MW Lakwa Replacement Power Project (LRPP); 100-MW Karbi Langpi Hydroelectric Project (KLHEP) and 4.5-MW Myntriang Small Hydroelectric Project (MSHEP) Stage-II. These projects generate between 57 per cent and 76 per cent of their installed capacities.

Construction and other works of the APGCL�s 100-MW Namrup Replacement Power Project (NRPP); 9-MW Myntriang Small Hydroelectric Project (MSHEP) Stage-I; 120-MW Lower Kopili Hydroelectric Project (LKHEP); 70-MW Amguri Solar Power Project and 154-MW Namrup Solar Power Project is on.

Though open cycle of the NRPP-I was expected to be commissioned in next April, collapse of the project�s roof has delayed it. Construction activities of this project started around 10 years back. The MSHEP Stage-I is expected to start generation of 6 MW of power by next summer. If everything goes on smoothly, it is expected that the generation of the LKHEP could be started by 2025. The bidding process for the Amguri Solar Power Project is expected to be completed by February 25, 2019. But the Namrup Solar Power Project is still in the detailed project report (DPR) preparation stage.

The APGCL projects in the pipeline are � the Rs 234.56 crore 24-MW Borapani Middle-II; Rs-700 crore, 100-MW Namrup Replacement Power Project Phase-II and Rs 16,416.26 crore, 1600-MW Margherita Thermal Power Plant.

The Borapani Middle-II project DPR has been prepared and the process of obtaining statutory clearances from government departments is on, while confirmation of gas linkage is awaited from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for the NRPP Phase-II.

The coal-based 660-MW Margherita Thermal Power Plant is in jeopardy. Its installed capacity was enhanced to 1,600 MW in 2016-17 as per the wishes of the then APGCL Chairman. This raised the project cost to a whopping Rs 16,416.26 crore. Besides, Union government is not keen on setting up new coal-based thermal power plants because of environmental concerns. The State government is also not pursuing the matter vigorously. Coal linkage for the project is not yet obtained.

Process for securing gas linkage to NRPP-II is going on, but at a slow pace. Its commissioning date 2025 is, however, expected to be met.

The APGCL has two long-term gas grid-based projects � the 250-MW gas engine-based project at Chandrapur, with a gas requirement of 1.3 MMSCMD and the 725-MW gas turbine-combined-cycle project at a Lower Assam location. The estimated cost of the first one is Rs 1,875 crore, while the estimated cost of the second one is Rs 5,075 crore.

It is feared that the Chandrapur gas-based project may not see the light of the day. Same is the case with the Lower Assam gas-based project. Because, in the 721-km-long gas grid, which is proposed to link the State with the National Gas Grid, power sector has not received top priority.

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