Can Raichur thermal plant bail Bengalureans out this summer?

The plant requires about 1.3 tmcft of water for running its eight units till June 10.

Ballari: While the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) is expected to step in and produce more power following the fire at the Sharavathi hydel power plant, it is struggling to generate even its installed capacity of 1720 MW owing to technical snags and a shortage of water .

In fact, since a month, units IV and VIII have stopped generating power following a leak in the boiler tube, leading to a loss of 420 MW a day. Currently only about 1,100 MW power is being generated by the remaining six units.

The eight units of RTPS are supposed to contribute 40 per cent of the state’s power supply to the grid, but they are not able to function to their optimum capacity with technical snags becoming a regular feature owing to their aging machinery, according to sources.

While units I to III are 25 -years- old, unit IV is 22- years- old, and unit V, 17- years- old. The plant’s unit VI was commissioned in 1999, unit VII, in 2002 and unit VIII began generating power six years ago.

Although each unit has an installed capacity of 210 MW, none of them generate the power they are expected to. “If a problem in one unit is fixed, one more surfaces in another unit,” say sources.

While RTPS has no shortage of coal, with a stock of 1.23 lakh tonnes, and supplies of around seven rakes every day, its five units had to shut down operations owing to acute shortage of water in early February.

The plant requires about 1.3 tmcft of water for running its eight units till June 10, when the monsoon is expected to set in. The authorities feel it should cope if a storage of one tmcft is ensured in the Googal barrage for the next few months.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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