The ongoing thermal power projects in Chennai are facing inordinate delay in commissioning ranging from eight to 42 months due to various reasons from contractor facing financial troubles to court cases.
The first unit of the 2X660 MW Ennore SEZ which was originally scheduled to begin its full load operation by end of March 2018, is expected to start its commercial operation only August 2021, while the second unit would be commissioned only in November 2021.
A senior Tangedco official attributed the delay to the court case filed by a private company for awarding engineering procurement and construction contract to the BHEL. “The contract was awarded in September 2014 but the case came to an end with the Supreme Court order in October 2016. The work started only in November 2016,” the official said, adding that the projected expected to be commissioned only in 2021.
Ennore Thermal Power Station Expansion 660 MW was the first project to be awarded the EPC contract by the AIADMK government which came to power in July 2014. “The work came to a standstill after the EPC contractor Lanco landed in financial crisis. The contract was cancelled in April 2018 due to non-performance. We have awarded the contract to the BGR in February this year,” the official said, adding that the project is expected to be commissioned only in 2021-22 as against the expected commissioning of January 2018.
The 800 MW North Chennai stage III project is expected be commissioned by end of this year. The EPC contractors BHEL and BGR has assured the Electricity Minister P Thangamani who reviewed the progress of the project that it would be commissioned by the December 2019. “This is the first 800 MW thermal power plant to be built by the Tangedco. The power generation from the plant would help the state meet its rising power demand in the future,” the official said.
As of now, Tangedco official said that the utility is in a position to meet the state’s power requirement with the available sources of the power. “The commissioning of the power projects would help the state remain a power surplus,” the official said.