Power deficit due to delay in commissioning 4 thermal projects

Tangedco has undertaken the construction of five supercritical thermal power projects (STPP) with a total generation capacity of 5,700 MW facing a delay ranging from one year to eight years.
Power deficit due to delay in commissioning 4 thermal projects
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Chennai: Tamil Nadu should have been a power surplus state by now if all the supercritical thermal power projects construction undertaken by the Tangedco was completed on time. But, the several parts of the state witnessed load shedding ranging from one to three hours between April 20 and 22 due to a power shortage of over 2,000 MW.

Tangedco has undertaken the construction of five supercritical thermal power projects (STPP) with a total generation capacity of 5,700 MW facing a delay ranging from one year to eight years.

The 660 MW Ennore Expansion STPP was the first project to be awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract in February 2014 to LANCO Infra Tech to commission the plant by June 2018. But, LANCO declared insolvency after completing a mere 18 per cent of the works in 2018. Tangedco awarded a fresh contract to BGRESL in March 2019 but the work on the project is yet, to begin with the expiry of the environmental clearance.

Tangedco awarded the contract for the 2X660 MW Ennore SEZ STPP in September 2014 with the scheduled commissioning of unit I in November 2017 and the second unit in January 2018. “However, the work on the project initially got delayed due to litigation. The actual work on-site started in September 2016. The work progressed at a slow pace and got further delayed due to COVID lockdown,” said Tangedco sources. The revised schedule of completion is December 2023 and April 2024 for unit I and unit II respectively.

Sources in Tangedco said that the 800 MW North Chennai stage III project is expected to be commissioned by end of this year after missing its April 2019 deadline.

“The coronavirus induced lockdown affected work with the migrant labourers returning to their native places. In two months time, we will start the plant commissioning works,” the sources said.

The two units of Udangudi STPP Stage I (2X660 MW) was supposed to be commissioned by January and March 2021, but facing a 28-month delay. The 2X800 MW Uppur STPP project has been put on hold last year due to various pending issues, including litigation.

“A consultant has been appointed to study the viability and feasibility of this project. It is yet to submit its report,” sources said.

A senior Tangedco official said that all the power projects faced litigations for land or dispute over the issuance of contracts or environmental issues. “It led to delay in the project execution. The Covid lockdown also affected work. Now we have speeded up the works to commission the plants on at least the revised schedule,” the official added.

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