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Private sector thermal plants delay Punjab's power surplus dream
The uncertain fuel supply coupled with delays in completing the construction work by GVK and Sterlite for Goindwal Sahib & Talwandi Sabo thermal project, the commissioning of the first unit of both projects, has been further delayed. It will not take place as planned by Punjab Government. GVK's (270 MW) and Sterlite's (660MW) unit were supposed to start generation in March 2013 and April 2013 respectively.

GVK is supposed to complete the first unit in 36 months from the time of financial closure to be followed by second unit in 42 months. The company achieved its financial closure on May 21 2010. As per schedule the units are supposed to be commissioned in May 13 and November 13 respectively.

GVK has been allotted two coal blocks for this project, one at Tokisud north block and second at Sreegarha coal block. As per PSPCL website work of constructing bridge at Damodar River and providing railway siding are in progress. The coal from Tokisud coal block is to be transported by this route. The land transfer for second coal block is in progress.

Boiler and turbine works of first unit by BHEL are nearing completion as per latest report. GVK has claimed that it has completed 70% work of coal handling plant. The work of ash silos, ash pond and railway siding is in progress. GVK has claimed that it has incurred an expenditure of Rs. 2502 crore against project cost of Rs. 2963 crore as on November 30 2012.

The power evacuation system from the project is to be completed by PSTCL which is under progress. The work on three 220 KV transmission lines is going on and PSTCL hopes to match the schedule with commissioning schedule.

Even if GVK is able to complete the construction work by May the availability of coal for project is not a certainty. The state has been requesting the Centre for a six-month supply until the problem is sorted out without any positive response. The alternative is to allow imported coal which is a costly proportion.

In case of Talwandi Sabo (3X660MW), the revised schedule for commissioning of first unit is August 31 and subsequent units will come after a gap of 4 months. The coal for the project is to come from Basundra coal fields under Mahanadi Coal fields Ltd. (MCL) The Company is yet to sign fuel agreement with MCL.

As per the PSPCL website, the company has not given any progress report for the last six months despite several reminders. It has been claimed that 78 per cent work has been completed by November 2012.

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