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HPGCL loses crores of rupees daily due to faulty Chinese equipment
The forced shut down of unit no. 2 at Yamuna Nagar thermal plant since September 25 has raised questions about Chinese technology being used by Reliance for power projects. Even after the Chinese experts attended to it, the unit isn't working, incurring losses worth crores of rupees to HPGCL on a daily basis.

EYEBROWS HAVE been raised about the quality of Chinese equipment as even after service 300 MW unit no. 2 at Yamuna Nagar thermal power station has been forced to shut down.

According to information received under RTI, the unit 2 is under forced shutdown since September 25, 2011 due to high eccentricity and vibration at turbine bearing no. 1. The unit was commissioned on June 24, 2008 and has run for 24180 hours only.

The daily generation loss of 72 lakh units is worth Rs. 2 crore for HPGCL. After the closure of unit on September, 25, two Chinese engineers stationed at Khedar thermal visited site on September 28 & 29 but could not resolve the problem.

HPGCL sent urgent message on October 1 to Reliance Infra and Shanghai Electric Company (SEC) for sending experts to rectify the problem at the earliest as the unit was under forced shutdown and there was an urgent power demand in the state. The visit of Chinese engineers was again stressed on urgent basis to avoid impediments in FTO and the company had requested for experts latest by October 12.

Documents received under RTI read, “Top management of HPGCL has taken a very strong note of situation that SEC is not able to quickly respond under SOS conditions to mobilise the support and service of Chinese experts. This is not only causing financial losses to HPGCL but is also making them concerned about ‘after sales service’ capabilities of SEC”.

The 5-member team of SEC engineers from China visited the plant from October 15 to November 2, followed by visit of another expert from November 16 to 27. It was found that there is sag in the rotor of turbine.

As per RTI information, dated January 31 the firm, to attend the rotor fault, has not yet been finalized even after a lapse of more than 4 months. However according to official sources the rotor has been sent on January 31 from Yamuna Nagar to the works of Siemens Baroda and it reached there on February 8. According to Haryana Power Minister’s statement it may take another 4 to 5 months to synchronise the unit.

As per CEA report, 600 MW Yamuna Nagar thermal plant has reported a shortfall of 660 million units from April to January this year. As per CEA schedule the plant was to generate 3553 MU whereas it actually generated 2892 MU. A senior engineer said the fallout of Chinese equipment is now being felt.

It may be mentioned that the same unit was closed on February 22 in 2010 due to problem in emitting electrodes of Electrostatic Precipitators (ESP) and unit was restored on March 15. The300 MW unit ran subsequently at 60 % capacity for next 8 months.

It may be mentioned that this unit remained shut and subsequently operated at half load reportedly due to defective design of ESP. HPGCL allegedly suspended one Executive Engineer to cover up the whole episode. He has been under suspension for the last five months without any fault. He was suspended on the presumption that the operation staff did not maintain requite parameters and water entered in turbine. The enquiry committee constituted to look in to the incident reportedly concluded that it was not the failure of operation staff but system failure. Not satisfied with its departmental enquiry committee report the then MD of HPGCL sent the report to Central Electricity Authority for further investigations. As CEA team has not planned any visit to site the fate of suspended executive engineer continues to hang in balance.

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