The state will soon have more power at its disposal as the new units at Koradi and Chandrapur thermal power plants are all set to generate electricity from the month end. Trial run of unit 8 of Koradi (660MW) and unit 8 of Chandrapur (500MW) has been completed.
A Mahagenco official said that trial run of the units was held in March end. “After that, large number of small tests were done. Now, the two units are almost ready. The unit has to run continuously for 72 hours for achieving the commercial operation date (CoD),” he added.
Coal for the two units has still not been tied up. The company is, however, confident that union power and coal ministries will keep their word. “They have promised to provide tapering linkage to the two units when they start generation,” the official said.
Mahagenco had been allocated two captive mines in Odisha but the allocation was cancelled by Supreme Court. Now the company has been given Gare Pelma II coal block in Chhattisgarh. It will be months before the mine starts production. Till then tapering linkage (temporary linkage) is required.
Mahagenco’s requirement does not end here. It has six new units in the pipeline – Unit 8, 9 and 10 at Koradi (each 660MW), unit 8 and 9 at Chandrapur (each 500MW) and 250MW unit 4 at Paras power plant. Only the Paras plant has a temporary linkage so far. Linkage has been promised for two units but only time will tell what happens to the remaining three units.
In view of the coal shortage, the company has shut down some old units to make coal available to new ones. It may have to close down more old units in the coming months.
While Mahagenco is banking on coal from Gare Pelma mine for its new unit, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis wants to start a power plant near the mine. The cost of generation of a pit head plant is far lower than a one located far from the mine. It is not clear as to how coal will be sourced for new units if government goes ahead with the pit head plant proposal.